And who owns Pinterest?
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Pinterest just hired a new CEO with one goal – to turn Pinterest into “America’s shopping mall”. Let’s talk about how this impacts marketers and where you need to be putting your energy if you have a product to sell.
On June 11, Motley Fool called out something that no one noticed – Pinterest referred to themselves as something other than a “visual discovery engine”.
This was when they acquired “THE YES”.
The idea behind THE YES is that users take a quiz to get apparel suggestions, and the platform continues learning about your style with your purchase history over time.
In the press release from Pinterest, they described themselves as a shopping platform.
No mention of visual discovery engine…
What? This was a huge bombshell.
The goal with the aquisition is to make their platform better, so they can serve up better buying options for customers.
AND THEN. Just a few weeks later, we had this bomb drop.
who owns pinterest?
Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann, stepped down and brought in a new CEO from Google Commerce.
Don’t worry, Ben isn’t going anywhere. He made himself executive chairman of the board.
I did a lot of digging and researching to learn what I could about the new CEO, Bill Ready.
He’s currently on the board of Williams & Sonoma and use to work for ADP, which is a payroll service.
He was only at Google for 2 years – from Jan 2020 to Jun 2022.
Before his work at Google…he worked at PayPal! Remember when PayPal wanted to buy Pinterest last year…
Bill was also CEO of Braintree and Venmo… which PayPal owns.
So… he comes with a lot of e-commerce experience, particularly in the payment processing systems. He knows a lot about processing transactions, which is interesting because Pinterest has said for a long time that they are NOT going to be a point of sale platform.
They were going to have people move off the platform to purchase or work within their shop integrations.
pinterest – america’s shopping mall
Julie Bornstein, the founder of THE YES, in her new role as Pinterest’s Chief Shopping Officer, talked recently in an interview that they will be leaning into women’s fashion first.
Julie has a fascinating background. She convinced Dan Nordstrom (of Nordstrom!) to hire her, and built out their entire shopping platform on Nordstrom.com.
She also worked with Urban Outfitters and created the Beauty Insider program at Sephora.
As if that weren’t enough, she was also the COO at Stitch Fix, and took the company to $1 billion in annual revenue.
She fully understands how to take people’s personal preferences and show them additional personalized ideas. She now wants to bring that to Pinterest.
There are a lot of really interesting ways to customize or personalize what you see on a platform or a retailer’s website. Like showing you what other people similar to you have liked or surfacing new trends and just saying, ‘What do you think of this?’. Especially in style-based categories, that’s really important.
It’s also nice to know what you don’t like. If you’re never going to wear crop tops, Julie wants to make sure you’re not going to see them.
what does this mean for your business?
When this news launched, people started asking me what this means for their business.
First, I’m not someone who can read the future. I’m reading the same news you are at the same time.
What this does tell me is that e-commerce is going to be a big part of what’s coming in the future.
Second, I don’t look at another business moves and think “what does this mean for me?”. I know what I want my business to do and how I want it to grow. That’s why we set metric goals or key performance indicators (KPI) at the top of the year, because we hope to hit a target.
I don’t want to be at the whim of every algorithm change.
So instead I ask – “How does this move work to my advantage to hit my goals?”.
For Simple Pin Media, this looks like getting our digital products up in a shop, and getting that shop set up on Pinterest. Because SO much of our traffic comes from Pinterest, it’s worth it to us to pour into the platform.
The great part is is that Pinterest is super friendly to digital products, where Instagram and Facebook are not. So if a new CEO was hired for e-commerce, I should probably bust a move to get our shop up and running.
Third, I watch and observe. Are there sudden changes or small subtle tweaks happening?
and why does it matter who owns pinterest?
Pinterest is notoriously a slow moving platform, so I’m wondering what this CEO will be like. I don’t know if the platform moved slow because of Ben Silbermann as CEO, or if it was related to something else. I’ll just be keeping a close eye on what’s going on.
Someone asked me what this meant for bloggers.
Honestly? I don’t know.
But… If it were me and I was, say, a food blogger, I know a few things:
- First, Pinterest is one of the top places people find recipes. I think they know that and don’t want to cut that off for people.
- Second, I would figure out a way to get some physical or digital products going.
Julie, as Chief Shopping Officer says this:
“Pinterest is such a beautiful playground, and now we’re going to build on top of it, the best shopping experience that exists, vertical by vertical. We’re going to start with women’s fashion, because we have the experience and the relationships there. Then we’re going to expand to men’s, home and beauty, and over time to other verticals.”
If you’re in those spaces, it would be wise to make sure your shop is set up, if you sell physical or digital products.
NOTE: If you’re an Etsy or TpT seller, you can’t set up a shop for your products at the time of this recording.
Yes, it takes work. But why not pursue a totally new revenue stream for your business?
Even if you don’t create physical or digital products, there is still a place for you.
People still read articles. Don’t shy away from leaning into your content creation and still using the platform. Where else can you still get readers? Google and Pinterest are two of the best sources.
So all that to say, I’m excited for this change. I think as long as I choose to use Pinterest as a tool for my business, and I do, I’ll embrace the changes, use them to my advantage, and find opportunities to reach new people.
It’s worth it to pop into the Pinterest app once a week or so and search something like “women’s fall fashion” – just to see what pops up. It will be so interesting to watch how the platform responds.
I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts on the new CEO, on Pinterest becoming more of a shopping platform, whatever you’re thinking about. Leave a comment on this post or DM us on Instagram.
For further reading/listening:
- Why it’s time to sell your products using Pinterest (podcast/show notes)
- 2022 Pinterest for e-commerce features (podcast/show notes)
- Finding the ROI in marketing (podcast/show notes)