Here at TechArk we believe constant innovation is crucial to the success of any business, so we wanted to take a minute to share some feedback on a recent acquisition by Pinterest. Last week Pinterest announced its acquisition of the human-powered search engine app Jelly in their continued effort to revitalize their platform.

What is Jelly and why would Pinterest be interested?

What is Jelly?

Jelly is a crowdsourced Q&A mobile app that allows for users to ask questions to the masses to allow for easier search and discovery of products contained within images. A user can snap a picture of an outfit or unlabeled group of products, post it on the app allowing consumers or friends of friends the opportunity to share insight or answers to where one can purchase the items. Unfortunately, since their 2013 launch they haven’t done as well, with a downward trend of businesspre-deployment, core-component and additional training returns and inability to acquire and retain new users. In March of this year Pinterest bought Jelly for an undisclosed amount and experts are labeling the acquisition a “acqui-hire” which is a method of buying talent to solve a specific problem. Due to the nature of Jelly’s dismal performance it’s likely Pinterest will absorb the platform to revamp their capabilities and will not be operated separately.

Why Would Pinterest Purchase Jelly?

Pinterest offers a unique wealth of information as most of the content is user generated, so when businesses or pages upload content it is done directly and not thru a third-party source like Google. In the past couple months Pinterest has launched three new products of their own to improve customer question and response on the platform. One of these new products is Lens, which allows users to open their camera, examine the image and Pinterest will pick apart items within that image automatically in hopes to facilitate spur-of-the-moment purchases. This element gives Pinterest the ability for easier product search, particularly visual, and that is a huge factor for the Jelly acquisition. Pinterest acquired Jelly to improve their platform by creating an innovative hybrid of visual-search capabilities.

Innovation takes form in multiple ways, whether adapting to current technology, an upheaval in processes, or a new disruptive idea to break thru a stagnant market. Pinterest has yet to reach the climax of their business endeavors maintaining a steady incline in growth because of a recognition to not rest in success. Pinterest likely performed an internal assessment of their business and then decided to acquire Jelly.
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