Pinterest has taken a significant step to internationalizing its popular ‘pinning’ and bookmarking site after it launched a dedicated French version, the first non-English derivation of the service. The company has been hiring for a Country Manager in France for some time, so the more local push has been expected.

A post on the Pinterest blog explains that the new site is being introduced “especially for the people in France”, in order to provide a more local experience, with a dedicated focus on French content, categories and — of course — language.

The post further explains:

French pinners will see more local content in Search and Category feeds, as well as links to more French domains and pins with descriptions in French. We hope today’s updates will help French pinners discover more relevant pins, and faster than ever before.

In an effort to boost the French launch, Pinterest is working with 300 top French bloggers who will share their stories and favourite pins from the site over the coming three months.

pinterest fr 730x486 Pinterest launches localized service in France to boost engagement among non English users

Pinterest has developed into a hugely popular service in the US, but it is still to monetize its service. Nonetheless, introducing local services is a move that is likely to be replicated in other countries to help generate greater engagement and community in non-English speaking markets.

Other recent additions have included categorized pins — to help sort through links based on content — while a share button will be arriving on mobile, allowing for tighter integration with third-party apps and services. Other engagement-building changes have included the addition of search to to let users search their own pins, and push notifications for iOS and Android apps.

All of this base building can be seen as the first step to monetizing the service, although, at this point, it is not clear how that would be done without harming the user experience.

When asked about turning in revenue at D11, Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann said: “Right no we don’t. Which makes bookkeeping kind of easy.”

Despite that no statement, Pinterest could make money by working with brands and other third-parties that use the service, but the core would always be an engaged user base, which makes the move towards a French version (and more local sites in other non-English places) significant.

Headline image via hydropeek / Flickr