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Pinterest To Add Buy Button and Win Commerce Forever?

The Verge reported yesterday that Pinterest is soon adding a “buy” button. Users will be able to purchase products directly from pinned items, without leaving the Pinterest site. I’ll readily admit that I’ve never used Pinterest. But what makes Pinterest great, so I hear, is that it’s really fun to use and it hasn’t lost its focus on delivering a beautiful visual experience. Let’s face it, even on a good day using Facebook is a chore, and on a bad day, Facebook can be downright depressing (e.g. seeing your friends vacation pics when it’s blizzarding yet again in New England).

Marketers love the idea of Pinterest, because it represents a chance to tie into consumers aspirations -- their perfect wedding dress, or vacation destination, or new house to furnish. Think about it. Pinterest more than any other platform represents who we want to be, not who we are, or who we were.

Pinterest selling products is another example of the ongoing romance between content and commerce. And it sure makes a lot of sense to me.

With a buy button, Pinterest is sort-of the ultimate form of native advertising. Users will continue to pin their favorite products, and that convenient ‘buy’ button will make it easy to purchase that perfect sweater your best friend pinned from Nordstrom yesterday. And brands will surely pay top dollar to advertise their products on someone’s Pinterest board.

While both Twitter and Facebook already offer similar ‘buy’ capabilities, does anyone really go to either site to discover new products? I don’t think so. But that’s exactly what people do on Pinterest. And if we play this out, is it unrealistic to think that Pinterest couldn’t become the giant Mall of the Internet? Is Amazon now their top competitor?

Suddenly that $5b valuation Pinterest just received doesn’t sound so crazy, does it?

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