Pinterest Confirms Plans for Buyable Pins

Pinterest announced June 2 that it will be partnering with retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy’s and Michaels to launch two million “buyable” pins in the near future, turning the visual bookmarking-based social media platform into a sharable catalogue of sorts.

Rumors about the buy feature have been circulating for several months, but Pinterest had declined to comment on them until an event held at its San Francisco headquarters Tuesday.

There are about 50 billion pins on the site currently, so that two million will represent only a fraction of total pins. Still, there’s an opportunity for significant revenue, particularly since Pinterest is very popular in the niches of fashion, home remodeling and wedding planning (and the average wedding celebration now costs more than $28,000).

Neither shoppers nor merchants will be charged a fee, according to Pinterest, but few other financial details were revealed.

Pinterest users will be able to search for buyable pins. They’ll also have the option to set a price cap so that they’re only shown items that fall beneath their specified maximum amount.

Payments will be made either by credit card or through Apple Pay. If they choose the former, shoppers will only need to enter their information the first time they use the buy feature on the app.

Pinterest has emphasized, however, that it is building the program with the utmost attention to data security, and no credit card information will be stored on Pinterest’s servers. Instead, Pinterest will send payment information through an encrypted channel to a “vault” where it can be retrieved only by the appropriate merchants.

The buyable pins will first become available to pinners on iPhones and iPads later this month; it’s not known when Android and desktop users will get access to the feature.

Pinterest was launched about five years ago, and first started generating revenue through advertising in 2014. It has been valued most recently at around $11 billion.

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