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By: Ginny H.
Pinterest Hires Team Behind Ecommerce App “Tote”
In what could signal a major shift in Pinterest’s ambitions, the company has hired – or “acquihired,” in the parlance of Silicon Valley – the team behind Tote, an ecommerce app that targets a market with strong Pinterest crossover. The move has internet marketing experts keeping a close eye on Pinterest, which has begun to amass talent in recent months in what many believe is a shift toward a more highly monetized business model.
App Provided Curated Shopping Experience
The match between Tote’s creative team and Pinterest is a seemingly perfect fit. Tote is a mobile shopping app that has found a way to monetize the influencer-driven culture of Pinterest and Instagram. The app is driven by curators – stylists and fashion bloggers who create lists of items they love. Users can then use the app to shop for those items.
Tote was not the only fashion curation/shopping app on the marketplace. Others, like Hit or Miss, which offers a Tinder-like shopping experience, also exist and have in fact outperformed Tote. While it may seem odd that Pinterest sought to acquire a modest success instead of one of the top shopping apps, the reason for the purchase has much more to do with how Pinterest is developing as a business.
App Shuttered as Pinterest Expands Team
The Tote purchase is what’s known as an “acquihire” among tech investors and developers. Though Pinterest bought Tote, it only did so to acquire the creative team behind it. The app, in fact, was marked to shut down on July 15 the moment the acquisition was finalized.
Recently, Pinterest similarly acquihired the team behind Fleksy, a customizable mobile keyboard app that had proved a big hit with iOS and Android users. While the Fleksy app will remain operational for the near future, once again, the goal of the purchase was to improve Pinterest’s creative team.
Pinterest Accelerating Monetization Efforts
Both acquisitions have the internet marketing community on their toes, as Pinterest plays a huge role in internet marketing for many major brands. While Pinterest has limited the ways that brands can directly use Pinterest to their benefit, these new hires may indicate that Pinterest is taking an aggressive approach to monetization.
That could mean that internet marketing professionals may be able to use Pinterest for more advertising opportunities, sponsoring of curation, or even direct sales. While no-one can say for sure where Pinterest will go from here, all signs indicate that the company will be opening up new revenue avenues in the near future – magic to the ears of those in the internet marketing community.
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