One way to track the progress of a social media company is to view changes in the corporate headquarters. We recently caught wind from Business Insider that Pinterest, the massively popular visual bookmarking site, has moved its base of operations from Palo Alto into a bigger space in San Francisco.
The new warehouse spans over 60,000 sq. feet and will accommodate roughly 200 employees; another indication of the growing power of this tech favorite. Founded in 2008, it raised $100 million in May 2012.
San Francisco appears to becoming the new center of gravity for the tech industry, including Zynga, Twitter, AirBNB and Adobe.
Pinterest is also drawing attention from a number of small business owners on web hosting platforms who seek to extend their website presence into major social media sites.
Pinterest is currently tweaking its system to find the ideal mix of openness and privacy. In the last few weeks it has removed its ‘invitation only’ policy and now anyone can create an account on the bulletin site.
It has to move quickly to increase its user base since it faces new threats from more established tech companies who wish to slipstream Pinterest’s success. For instance, Apple is rumored to be in talks to acquire The Fancy, another growing social commerce site back by co-founders of Twitter and Facebook.
“While The Fancy is far smaller than archival Pinterest, which similarly lets users make lists of things they find interesting, the 20-person New York start-up, led by co-founder and CEO Joe Einhorn, is much farther along in linking its users to transactions. The Fancy takes a 10 percent cut of purchases. Last we checked in, sales were exploding,” said Business Insider.
All of these social media plays are perhaps aimed at a bigger goal, acquiring shares of online retail spending, which may, over time, surge inside social networks.
Comscore just released second quarter 2012 estimates showing online retail spending reached $43.2 billion for the quarter, up 15 percent versus a year ago. This represents the eleventh consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.
“While the second quarter’s 15-percent growth rate couldn’t quite match the especially high growth rate from the first quarter, it was nevertheless almost four times higher than the growth in overall consumer spending, a sign of continued strength in the e-commerce channel.”
“[Pinterest], which first came onto the ComScore radar in May 2011 with 418,000 unique visitors, has surged over the past six months to nearly 4.9 million visitors,” said Comscore.
“Also significant is that, like Tumblr, Pinterest is exceptionally sticky and keeps it users engaged for long periods of time. In November, the average visitor spent nearly an hour and a half on the site over the course of the month and more than 15 minutes per visit, ranking it third on consumer engagement.”
Anyone use Pinterest? We [secretly] have an account but haven’t used it; should we?