Pinterest is planning to introduce a "buy" button that would let users purchase some items from inside the online scrapbooking service, Recode reports. The button will apparently allow users to order and pay for goods pinned to Pinterest boards without leaving the company's app or website, a feature that could turn Pinterest into an online shopping powerhouse. Recode's sources say the feature could launch in three to six months, but also noted that it may take a little longer, or roll out first in a limited trial.
Transactions would reportedly be handled by payments company Stripe, a San Francisco-based startup that has similar deals in place with both Twitter and Facebook. Both social networking giants beat Pinterest to the punch — they started trialing their own "buy" buttons last September — but the scrapbooking service is perhaps better positioned to sell you stuff. Pinterest has more than 70 million users, and its boards are full of aspirational items pinned in place by people who presumably have some interest in owning the products they're pining for.
The feature may roll out within six months
Pinterest's $5 billion valuation was largely predicated on the expectation that it would eventually add a buying option, an addition that could help the scrapbooking service become an e-commerce monster to rival Amazon. A spokesperson for Pinterest refused to elaborate to Recode on the company's e-commerce plans, but in recent months, it has focused on advertising capabilities as it expands its service. Yesterday, the company introduced App Pins, posts that can be pinned to boards that allow users to download software from inside Pinterest's iPhone and iPad apps. The new feature could allow Pinterest to offer sponsored spaces on curated boards to companies willing to pay for advertisement — a business model already used by Facebook and Twitter — a move that would help it draw money from its tens of millions of users as it makes the shift from scrapbook to shopping mall.