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Pinterest Launches the Buy Button

People can buy products inside the application itself, without ever leaving Pinterest.


Pinterest* launched its long awaited “buy” button on Tuesday, wading into the world of e-commerce. The announcement confirmed a February report from Re/code.

People using the visual discovery tool can buy products inside the application itself, without ever leaving Pinterest. Products available for purchase will have a blue “buy it” button next to the red “pin it” button. Purchasers will have the choice to pay using Apple Pay or a credit card. Payments will be handled by Stripe and PayPal-owned Braintree.

Pinterest is also partnering with Shopify and Demandware to make it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to sell products through the site.

In announcing the news, Pinterest said that millions of products will be available from its initial brand partners, which include Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

Industry spectators have been waiting eagerly for the buy button to come to Pinterest. More so than Twitter or Facebook, the social service is well positioned to become an online mall, since people collect pictures of products they might want to buy (like recipe ingredients, furniture and fashion).

This is a big part of what Pinterest’s $11 billion valuation is based on — the premise that the site will enable online commerce. In theory, merchants are more likely to pay to advertise on Pinterest — through a product called promoted pins — if there’s an easy way to let people purchase directly within the app.

During the announcement, Pinterest said it wasn’t going to be taking a cut from customers or merchants.

* Pinterest executive Joanne Bradford is an independent board member of Re/code’s parent company Revere Digital and has no involvement in our editorial process.

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