Microsoft tempts Pinterest with $51bn buyout
Last week, The Financial Times reported that in recent months Microsoft had approached Pinterest about a potential deal to acquire the hugely popular app for $51bn.
Since the start of the global health pandemic, soaring consumer usage and advertiser demand has seen Pinterest's market value increase more than 600%.
A purchase of Pinterest would have amounted to the largest deal ever for Microsoft, which acquired LinkedIn for $26.2bn in 2016 and recently tried to acquire TikTok.
Pinterest capped off a roaring 2020 by adding a record 100 million-plus users for the year and posting 76% year-over-year growth in fourth-quarter revenue on the strength of holiday retail.
Pinterest added 17 million more monthly active users (MAU) during the final quarter of the hellscape we knew of as 2020, which it put down to a strong performance over Christmas and the new year. As well as product improvements in advertising, characterised by a six-fold increase in the number of businesses that used its shopping ads format for Q4.
Pinterest has launched its version of Stories – but there's a twist
2021 has kicked off with a good news bonanza for Pinterest, which also announced its Stories version.
Story Pins differ slightly from the standard version of Stories employed by Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.
The new feature will let Pinners have a more personalised experience within Pinterest. At the same time, Story Pins are an excellent opportunity for brands and marketers to get their content to the top of the home feed, where Story Pins will be housed, show audiences some personality, and leverage a deeper relationship with their followers.
Story Pins are different from traditional stories due to their long lifespan, the additional context that creators can add to Story Pins, and how followers can interact within the comments section.
Stories can also be interacted with as if they were regular pins, they are actionable and can be saved and revisited.
Making them more valuable to brands and marketers, who can extract more interaction, engagement, and reach from each Story Pin than they could via a traditional story in a different form of social media.
"Story Pins are different in all the ways Pinterest is different from other apps — the main value is discovering positive, inspirational and educational ideas, and not just for entertainment purposes.
They're saveable, actionable and long-lasting so they can be discovered over time. From the following stream, Pinners can save ideas and visit a creator's profile to see even more ideas that might inspire their next project."
Product tagging opens new avenues for marketers
Shoppers are also finding it easier to get what they want from a Pinterest scene.
Platform updates to catalogue upload, computer vision, and object detection have made using Pinterest for eCommerce more seamless than ever.
Customers love finding an in-store experience when they shop online. Pinterest's expanded product tagging ability will help brands and marketers advertise and sell their stock to a public that's hungry to replicate what they see in scene images.
"We've found Pinners are 70% more likely to show shopping intent on products tagged in scene images than on standalone Product Pins."
Product tagging in Story Pins will allow brands to exercise their creativity and increase promotion capacity across the platform. Pinterest is now a huge shopping destination, and marketers should be embracing its desire to make life easier, and richer, for those looking to use the platform to increase marketing reach and drive revenue.
Pinterest has embraced AR with the Try On feature
Pinterest continues to expand its augmented reality offering further, announcing a new 'Try on' feature. The success of last year's lipstick Try-On has led to the expansion of the platform's AR offering into eyeshadow.
Shoppable eyeshadow Pins will feature products from NYX Cosmetics, YSL, Urban Decay and Lancome.
"With eyeshadow Try on, powered by Lens, Pinners can tap into visual search and AR technology to try on and shop beauty products right from the camera on their phone.
Simply click the camera icon in 'Search' and start browsing different shades of eyeshadow, try on in-stock shades, and purchase products."
The latest move will allow brands and marketers to tap-in to the rise of eCommerce on the platform, while those AR tools offer more interaction options and engagement paths with potential customers.
Pinterest itself noted that Try on Pins facilitate 5x more purchase intent than regular Pins. As we move forward, new technology on phones, and social media like Snapchat, will make it more important than ever that brands and marketers get on top of the rise of AR in eCommerce and begin experimenting now to stay ahead.