Jessica Leigh Hester is a former senior associate editor at CityLab, covering environment and culture. Her work also appears in the New Yorker, The Atlantic, New York Times, Modern Farmer, Village Voice, Slate, BBC, NPR, and other outlets.
And the site won’t just sell twee gingham pennants and mason jars.
On Tuesday, Pinterest announced a plan that set online shoppers’ (probably burlap) hearts aflutter: Buyable pins, an e-commerce platform where customers can click to buy right from the app for iPhone or iPad. A blue icon will indicate that a given item is available for purchase. Customers can pay using credit cards or Apple Pay. Pinterest won’t take a cut from sellers’ haul.
Rolling out in the next few weeks, the feature will include more than 2 million products from retailers such as Macy’s and Poler Outdoor Stuff, in addition to items hosted on Shopify. A price filter allows users to weed out anything that misses the mark (just in case a $1,500 reclaimed teak dining table isn’t quite what you’re looking for).
The new button could throw a cover over the deep, deep rabbit hole that it’s so easy to tumble down. Say, for instance, you’re perusing a friend’s board dedicated to gadgets and spot something that strikes your fancy, like these sleek window solar chargers (right). You click on the link to snag one for yourself, only to discover that the Pin links to a three-year-old blog post. From there, you navigate to the brand’s main website and find that the product is no longer available there—or on any of the next three sites you try before finally ending up on Amazon, where it’s hawked by a third-party retailer.
The digital scrapbooking service does not release comprehensive user data, but digital analytics firm eMarketer estimates its traffic to be in the ballpark of 47 million monthly viewers. (comScore, another data crunching firm, cites an audience nearly 75 million strong, reports the New York Times.) In either case, a lot of people are looking at gadgets and flower crowns—and that could mean big bucks for businesses.