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New York Times Tries Boosting Its Social Media Influence by Buying HelloSociety

The paper of record buys an early mover in the "Pinfluencer" world.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

The New York Times is buying HelloSociety, a digital marketing agency that helps advertisers get their messages on social media platforms, from startup incubator Science Inc.

A press release from the Times says HelloSociety works with companies including Instagram, Vine and YouTube. But it is best known for its early work with Pinterest, where it got “Pinfluencers” to post pictures on behalf of brands.

In 2015, Pinterest told HelloSociety that it was deleting all affiliate links that the startup’s network of influencers posted. The move came as Pinterest ramped up its own ad-selling business and plotted a new e-commerce initiative.

HelloSociety will be integrated into T Brand Studio, the Times’ content-marketing arm.

Science’s portfolio also includes FameBit, an “influencer marketing platform”, which does similar work. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Last year, Twitter bought Niche, another social media ad agency that connected brands with popular users on platforms like Vine and Instagram.

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