This Week at Fifty & Five 10.29.13

Big Steps for Pinterest Pinterest recently raised $225 million in (another) massive round of funding, raising its current value to $3.8 billion. The funding will be used in efforts at global expansion — the company plans to launch in 10 more countries (compounding on recent additions in the U.K., France, and Italy, which were launched […]

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Big Steps for Pinterest

Pinterest recently raised $225 million in (another) massive round of funding, raising its current value to $3.8 billion. The funding will be used in efforts at global expansion — the company plans to launch in 10 more countries (compounding on recent additions in the U.K., France, and Italy, which were launched earlier this year). The funds will also be used to support development on mobile, which has grown 50% since the beginning of the year and now totals more than three quarters of total usage. Pinterest also plans to use some of the money to continue developing advertisements to help in its pursuit of monetizing the platform.

Additionally, the company announced Friday a new deal with Getty Images that will provide more detailed information on the photos that users pin on the site. If a user pins a Getty image that is already on the web, the description, photographer, and date taken will appear alongside the photo, along with any other information that Getty has on file for the image. Pinterest will be paying Getty for all of the data included alongside photos, but would not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

“One thing we’ve found is that the more we know about a pin, the more valuable we can make it for you,” wrote Michael Yamartino, a product manager at the company. The Getty data should start to accompany pictures in the “coming months,” according to another Pinterest spokesperson.

Pinterest’s recent pushes to include more written content have seemed to be successful so far — promoted pins and expanded article pins, which we reported on in previous issues, have only enhanced the network’s user experience. We have high hopes for what’s to come!

 

Tumblr is Undervalued by Advertisers

If there’s a social network that could be voted as most likely to succeed in 2014, it just might be Yahoo’s biggest recent purchase, Tumblr. That’s perhaps odd to say, as the massively popular network of microblogs currently hosts almost 150 million blogs, sees 99 million posts every day, has over 65 billion posts, and has a very nice site ranking of fifth in the U.S. In other words, it has already succeeded.

Monetization has lagged, however, but that may be about to change.

A new Adobe digital ad study has found that Tumblr’s value to advertisers has been undervalued by a huge margin – as much as 450 percent. That’s due to both the nature of the network itself, and to its place in the digital purchasing pipeline.

“Social media is often not the last thing you do before you buy … it’s often the first thing,” Adobe’s digital ad analyst Tamara Gaffney stated last week. “So advertisers are undervaluing social … especially Tumblr.”

 

What’s Trending

Study Suggests 26 Million Snapchat Users

A Pew Research Center study released yesterday finds that 9% of U.S. cell phone owners use Snapchat. Using the study’s findings that 92% of the U.S. population owns a cell phone, that 9% usage number translates into 26 million Snapchat users in the U.S. Twenty-six percent of 18-29 year-olds surveyed in the study use the app, compared to less than 5% of adults older than 29.

Rumors of a YouTube Music Service

Is YouTube about to take on Spotify with a subscription music service of its own? That’s what a report from Billboard magazine claimed Wednesday, citing “several sources familiar with the plans.” Like Spotify, the report said, the music service will have a free tier (with ads) and a premium tier (without ads). This would push the Google-owned video service in a new audio direction, with music available for streaming or caching on all platforms; however, YouTube would still hold on to its roots by offering music videos as part of the service.

Twitter Stock Prices Released

Twitter is planning to sell 70 million shares at $17 to $20 per share in order to raise about $1.4 billion in its coming IPO. The company updated its S1 filing with the SEC today with the new data. That would value Twitter at almost $11 billion. With only 13 percent of its total shares – 544.7 million – being sold, there’s plenty of the company left for future stock-based compensation for star employees.

 

Author
Lucas Vandenberg
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