Pinterest has made another acquisition with the aim of adding more talent to its team, this time in regard to monetization. The social bookmarking platform has purchased the Tote shopping app and will be nabbing its two co-founders to work on discovery tools for its own service.
For those unfamiliar with Tote, the mobile app for iOS is a social shopping network that allows users to curate products that shoppers can then buy directly from fashion influencers and bloggers, cutting out traditional e-commerce sites in the process.
As with its recent acquisition of smart keyboard app Fleksy, Pinterest is again interested in tote’s human talent rather than its product offering. Consequently, Tote co-founders Mike Bidgoli, and Langtian Lang will join Pinterest as product manager, and software engineer respectively.
Pinterest’s lack of interest in Tote’s tech is bad news for users of the app as it means that it will come to a halt. The app is still available on the iOS App Store but, according to Pinterest, it has no plans to continue the product. Instead, it is offering users the opportunity to migrate their Tote accounts to its platform.
Nipoon Malhotra, ads product lead at Pinterest, said the following in a related statement: “Pinterest helps people discover products that match their tastes, oftentimes based on content from influencers and businesses. We welcome the tote team’s deep expertise in commerce and influencer marketing as we continue our focus on connecting people to products they love.”
The reference to influencers indicates that Pinterest is interested in utilizing the Tote team’s connections with the fashion world, which could be used to bring more bloggers, and buyable items to its platform. According to its App Store description, Tote featured products from popular brands including ASOS, Zara, J. Crew, H&M, TopShop, Forever21, and Michael Kors.
“With a growing community of people looking for inspiration from brands and influencers, Pinterest is better positioned than any other service to bridge online and offline shopping experiences,” said Bidgoli in a statement. “We’re absolutely thrilled to join Pinterest on this journey, as they build the world’s catalog of ideas and make big bets on commerce.”
This so-called connection between the online and offline markets that Bidgoli alludes to sounds similar to Pinterest’s recent experiment to introduce real-life Pins to a retail store in Brazil. Could the Tote acquisition therefore lead to further integration between Pinterest’s online service, and physical storefronts? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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