“I don’t know about social commerce overall but I definitely know that our users often want to buy the things they find on Pinterest,” said Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann while discussing going public on the NYSE. “A lot of people say they discovered a product or service while browsing Pinterest,” says Silbermann. “We just want to make it easier for them to go from that inspiration all the way to reality, which in this case would be a purchase.”
Pinterest was initially priced at $19 per share, which gave it a value of $10 billion on Wednesday morning. The company closed Friday up 28% at $24.40, which vaulted Pinterest to a value of just under $13 billion.
We really talked with investors about how regular people use the product every day. People use it to get inspiration for a whole range of things, everything from the food they cook to the clothes they wear to their homes. It’s really more about your personal inspiration and it’s less about your friends. It’s not really about following celebrities in the news. We wanted to make sure that everyone understood that because that’s how our users see the product every day.
The thing that makes it really special is that the reason people are on Pinterest is to get inspiration and do things with their life. It’s really lined up with what advertisers want which is to inspire new customers and get them to buy products and services they really love. What that means is that the ads on Pinterest can actually be really additive as long as we do a good job of making sure they’re highly relevant. I think that’s just really different from a lot of media companies where ads are candidly a little bit of a tax. That difference in alignment I think is the biggest difference between us and some other media properties.
I still think there’s a real opportunity to grow over time and increase engagement. A lot of people might use Pinterest for one thing or two things but they don’t know the wide range of different ways people all over the world use the product. I also got to say that we’re super proud that we’re growing globally. If it (IPO) was just a few years ago the story would have been primarily a US-based service. It’s just really fulfilling for the company to know that the product works all over the world.
We’re in the very first chapter of that story (selling internationally) so we’re just hiring our first local sales teams in places like Canada, Western Europe, Germany, and France. We’re just at the beginning of the journey but I think there’s going to be a real opportunity to show the same great results we’ve seen in the United States to advertisers all over the world. We’re going to continue to invest for the long term. We’ve shown really good margin improvement over the last few years but my eye is always on what’s going to make Pinterest great three years, five years, and even ten years from now. That’s going to be how we continue to run the business and we’re really excited to see it keep growing.
We’re always working to make sure people can bridge that gap between seeing something inspiring and doing it. One area that we’re investing in is making sure that we match inspirational images with more and more products that are at a price point that matters for people and for retailers they really trust. We just enabled people who are retailers to upload all of their catalogs into Pinterest. We’re investing a lot into computer vision technology to match those products with images and we’re not just doing it with shopping, we’re also doing it with all the different use cases. If you have a recipe on Pinterest now you’ll see the ingredients and people can write reviews. If you have a DIY project you can see other people’s experiences, whether it was easy or whether it was a little harder than they expected.
I don’t know about social commerce overall but I definitely know that our users often want to buy the things they find on Pinterest. A lot of people say they discovered a product or service while browsing Pinterest. We just want to make it easier for them to go from that inspiration all the way to reality, which in this case would be a purchase.