Thursday, 9 August 2012
Rumours abound of Apple's entry into Social Media buying The Fancy? Or Pinterest?
There's no doubt about Pinterest being loved - it's not - it's adored.
Without a doubt it is THE Social Media site of the decade and being so visual it can actually be beautiful. (Have a look at Pinterest's Streamabout pins for example! http://pinterest.com/streamabout/).
It's very much a sharing site for photos that really started mid 2011 and in May this year, raised 100 million usd valuing it at 1.5 billion usd. Some success.
Although its growth has slowed a bit in June to about 16% (still fantastic), it is on its way to be the 4th largest traffic site in the world after Google, YouTube and Facebook.
Apple on the other hand, the highest valued company in the world, sitting on billions in cash, have lacked one thing - Social Media. Apart from Social Media bringing "members" in its own right, it also gives Apple a chance to showcase their products. If you own the devices....it's easy to promote the Social element and especially on Apple TV due late 2012 (yes, they've already sold 4 million but officially it's launched later this year).
The New York Times, a credible news source, indicated Apple were actually in talks to buy Twitter recently but they didn't go anywhere. An indicator of Apple's desire to get into social.
Apple also has to use its cash to invest. There's no point in sitting on it.
And so it was always felt that Apple would acquire Pinterest to deliver a Social site, but also because the style of Pinterest seemed very similar to Apple. It just made sense.
In fact, if rumours are true (and they're very strong, led by Business Insider), Apple are about to buy Pinterest lookalike, The Fancy. In some ways that's not fair comment because The Fancy has been there first (so the lookalike is actually Pinterest) but The Fancy is more like Ebay with better pictures. Kind of like an Instagram with a cart. No, I don't like it.
It's a shopping market site since, if you "fancy it", you can buy it. In today's crass world of monetisation, it does the job and with Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame, Eric Eisner (son of Disney's Michael Eisner), Chris Hughes (one of the 500 claimants as a Facebook co-founder) on the Board, it probably ticks all the investment boxes. But Pinterest it just ain't.
The Fancy is considered 2 years old and only has 20 employees yet the rumour is more than strong that Apple are about to acquire it. Apple CEO Tim Cook, notoriously social Media shy, opened a Fancy account and that started the guessing. Reportedly worth 100 million usd it's reported to be generating 10,000 usd a day in sales.
There's no doubt about Apple's need to get into the Social space - it will come and there's no doubt they have the cash to do it.
For me, The Fancy is not it. It's too small and too "commercey" to be able to scale more than it is. And it's just all too ugly.
I've no doubt on the rumours - I've heard them too much - but sometimes a company will do that in order to negate a target's value. In other words to show that it has plenty of options.
The Iphone 5 is due out on September 12 too (by all insider reports) and Apple have a lot riding on it, so it's a busy time to be looking at acquisitions just right now. Another reason I'm doubting it.
No, I think this is an Apple game.
Pinterest is the target.