Google and Pinterest are rumoured to be discussing a potential acquisition, for Pinterest to come into Google’s expanding portfolio of brands and consumer apps.
Here’s the link to a comment from the code conference where Alphabet CEO Sundar Patel let’s slip of the M&A
Smart Move For Pinterest
Firstly, this would be a wise move for Pinterest, it would be a deal for Google to explore the future and work out how to be involved in more discovery.
Secondly, Pinterest ranks incredibly well in SEO (Google has to reward it), it has the hot new app Shuffles (email me for an invite) and its ad engine is starting to really kick in, ripe for Google.
Pinterest’s Real Use Case: The Future
Pinterest’s identity and use case really is in planning (the future) and identity of interests and how humans curated together. People pin for planning their future and to be inspired to take action on something, usually expensive home improvements or high order value equipment.
Google has struggled with discovery and being able to connect with the future intent (of buyers) rather than the past or the now. Ads have to cover the past (your history), the intent and need now (your action state) and then predictive (when you will likely need something or want something) and then serve ads throughout this journey will be incredibly smart.
Google’s Weakness – Intent-Based Targeting: In my mind, it is a way Google can understand planning and people’s long planning cycles and inspirations and be connected to the curation of ideas and creation of plans and then most importantly understand the purchase intent by logged-in, highly engaged users.
Google’s & Social Isn’t Working & Won’t
Despite having Android and YouTube, Google just struggles to understand social media and what motivates people to share and plan.
Google’s continued hash at chat and group chat highlights its a foundational issue at Google and despite all of their data, it’s likely hindering their development.
Waze was an inspired acquisition, not just as it integrated with their Maps and made their services better (and still is more of a pure play social product than Pinterest), Pinterest could slot into where people spend their time.
- Android connects you with apps and is your canonical device
- Maps & Waze for driving and targeting on that device you drive with.
- YouTube for short-form entertainment is based on video and audio (podcasts).
- Pinterest being a single-player planning tool they can serve a huge amount of ads to
Gateway To Checkout Not The Checkout
The proposed Pinterest purchase is a gateway to other people’s checkouts (as search engine result pages are a step removed) but not yet hosting the checkout, which is something Google struggles with.
Could Google be easing their way into more purchases with ads along the way, helping you to discover more products and applying testing, i’d like to think they’ve seen this, if not…then it makes absolute sense.
It would be a smart acquisition, it would be hard for Pinterest employees to get excited as Google consumes companies and kills them quickly, particularly innovative companies.