Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Pinfluencer Gets Around the Pinterest Analytics Problem

Pinterest, as I’ve written before, hasn’t been particularly friendly to people who try to harness its site for commercial purposes. The site flags short URLs and strips tracking codes, both of which are standard practice for brands in social media.

The prevailing assumption is that Pinterest will later introduce its own analytics and other monetization tools, once it gets its ducks in a row. But given the immense amount of referrals Pinterest drives, other companies are eager to pick up the slack.

Today, Pinfluencer, a Pinterest analytics and marketing tool, launches to the public. The company is already used by brands such as 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, GNC, HauteLook and Piperlime.

Pinfluencer sits on top of Pinterest, rather than injecting any kind of tracking into user pinning and repinning activity. The company runs crawlers on Pinterest for the domains of its clients and their competitors. (So, actually, the fact that Pinterest doesn’t like shortened and obscured links is actually a good thing for Pinfluencer.)

Brands and e-commerce companies pay San Mateo, Calif.-based Pinfluencer a monthly subscription fee to learn who their most influential fans are, which pins from their properties are trending and what competitors are doing better and worse.

Pinterest hasn’t yet established an API or a preferred partner list, but Pinfluencer assured me it is on the up-and-up (albeit informally) with the Pinterest team. Still, especially given all that’s going on with Twitter these days, it seems particularly risky to build a venture-backed business on top of a social media platform that hasn’t firmed up its own product and business strategy.

Funding is actually another part of today’s news. Pinfluencer is now backed with $1.4 million from Freestyle Capital, Baseline Ventures and angels. Its team comes from Yahoo, Bing and Yodlee.

That’s a relatively small bet, considering that Pinterest just raised $100 million on a $1.5 billion valuation.

Another competitor in the Pinterest analytics space is Curalate, which Peter Kafka recently profiled.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald