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Pinterest, one of the fastest-growing and most buzz-worthy startups in Silicon Valley, plans to announce Thursday that Amazon’s Jon Jenkins has joined the company as head of engineering. He’ll be responsible for scaling the company’s infrastructure and improving the site’s function as a discovery tool for users.
Jenkins, 40, has spent the past eight years in engineering at Amazon, working for the past two leading the company’s Silk browser for Kindle Fire. Prior to working on Silk, Jenkins held several roles at Amazon, including moving the company’s site from traditional hosting to cloud, improving the development community, and working on its retail properties.
In a press release, Pinterest explained that as head of engineering, Jenkins will focus on developing Pinterest “into an even more useful and robust discovery tool for users,” providing some interesting insight into where the company is headed.
The data research group AppData estimates that Pinterest has about 2.5 million users, and research from Experian Marketing Services indicates that in North America, visits grew 5,124 percent from 1.27 million visits per week in July 2011 to 28.95 million for the similar period in 2012. As the head of the team responsible for the infrastructure needed to meet this demand, Jenkins has quite the task ahead of him.
Launched in 2010, Pinterest allows users to “pin” photos and images onto virtual boards, interact with those pins, and follow other pinners. A January 2012 report found that the site drove more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn combined. The company recently moved its offices to San Francisco and launched new iPad and Android apps, as well as an updated version for iPhone. The company raised $100 million in May from Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, as well as existing backers Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital plus angels.