Pinterest, one of Silicon Valley’s youngest and most recent rising stars of social media, is recruiting Jon Jenkins as head of its engineering operations. Jenkins comes from an eight-year stint as a lead engineer at Amazon Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), where he directed the team that created Amazon’s Silk browser for its Kindle Fire tablet.
In a press statement announcing the hire, the privately held Pinterest said Jenkins “will be responsible for leading the engineering team in its continued development of the website, managing and scaling the infrastructure that supports the service and growing the overall technical team behind Pinterest.”
The expansion of the site is part of a large goal for the company “of developing Pinterest into an even more useful and robust discovery tool for users and connecting millions of Pinterest users to their interests and inspirations,” the statement said.
Started in 2010, Pinterest rose to prominence by December 2011 when Experian Hitwise, a marketing services firm that tracks consumer behavior online, ranked it as one of the top 10 social networks with 11 million visitors a week. According to the web-metrics service AppData, Pinterest now has approximately 2.5 million daily active users, and new research from Experian Marketing Services indicates that visits in North America alone jumped 5,124 percent over the 12 months beginning in July 2011. According to a January 2012 report from the analytics site Shareoholic, Pinterest now drives more referral traffic than the combined efforts of several other major social networks and popular websites like Google+, YouTube, Reddit and LinkedIn.
The social network, which is particularly popular among women, operates around posting and sharing photos on different pinboards. Users can “pin” photos and images onto virtual boards based around thematic content, interact with those pins, and follow fellow “pinners.”
The company recently relocated to San Francisco and updated its mobile applications following a $100 investment from the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.
“Big news for my 500th tweet,” Jenkins posted on Twitter on Thursday after the news broke. “Just joined Pinterest as the head of engineering! Great team with amazing potential.”