Right now Pinfluencer is in “startup Utopia,” according to founder and CEO Sharad Verma. But that paradise could be facing storm clouds now that Pinterest is encroaching on its territory. Just days after Pinterest announces its own analytics suite, Pinfluencer, a startup that helps marketers promote their brands on Pinterest, drops the “pin” reference from its name altogether. The data-driven metrics provider officially rebranded as Piqora this morning, and also introduced a new offering called Gallery, an “automated visual feed” of social activity that is available for both Pinterest and Facebook.
Though Verma insists that the name change isn’t a departure from its core offering as a Pinterest-centric tool, the new name and new product indicates Verma’s continued efforts to broaden his company’s offerings. Taking content off of Pinterest and into retailer websites, Gallery is an analytics engine that cross-references merchandise trending on social networks with products that a brand has in-stock. The platform compiles a list of relevant items and uses it to generate a landing page that displays product titles and pricing.
According to the re-branded startup, the solution is tablet-compatible, and the landing pages are optimized to maximize user sharing.
A broader vision for Pinterest
“Our new Gallery product gives brands a way to nurture their discovery traffic from social networks and tablet users, showcase what is most popular and offer customers a rich, boutique-type browsing experience,” says Verma. “The addition of Gallery makes Piqora the complete Marketing suite for Pinterest by leveraging the visual appeal of the social platform, helping brands to turn their browsing customers into paying customers.”
Verma also addressed the thought process behind his company’s new name. The chief executive said that Pinfluencer was changed to Piqora because the latter is “an elegant blend of piquing one’s curiosity and inquiry about products,” and because it implies imagery (pictures) and intelligence (IQ). The former is explained by the launch of an image recognition solution in September, when the startup was still known by its original name.
The other keyword, IQ, signifies the deep analysis that is happening under the hood. Both Gallery and the image recognition feature rely on complex algorithms to identify points of interest and convert the raw info into consolidated charts that the average user can digest.
The new Gallery also presents an expanded revenue opportunity for Piqora, with two potential models Verma’s exploring. One could just be part of the existing Piqora suite with a fixed fee, pricing based on traffic. The second option would optimize pricing around performance, which is mutually beneficial in that it aligns Piqora’s success with its clients’.
Name change is NOT a shift away from Pinterest
While Piqora is obviously widening its toolkit, Verma says the new name “isn’t designed to move away from Pinterest.”
“We’re the complete marketing suite for Pinterest,” Verma goes on. “And we still want to be seen as a marketing suite that’s focused on Pinterest. We’re not going to be a Facebook analytics company.”
Does this change developer relations?
Nevertheless, Verma must always think two steps ahead of Pinterest, as to not become too reliant on Pinterest as an ecosystem or a data source. Now that Pinterest has its own analytics offerings, is there room for Piqora in the market?
Pinterest analytics is “good,” Verma says, but goes on to outline the key differences between Pinterest’s vanilla metrics versus Piqora’s.
“Pinterest analytics is designed for small business and pro users, like wedding planners,” he says. “Not designed with an enterprise customer in mind. Ours is core metrics — our analytics are very advanced. I think it’s important for them to demonstrate the value of traffic coming from Pinterest. It’s a good step before asking for money from brands. Our goal is to be very complimentary to Pinterest.”
And as Pinterest’s ecosystem continues to grow in size and influence, the decision to launch its own analytics tool begs the question: what will happen to third party service providers like Piqora in the long run, and how will Pinterest monetize its APIs and manage developer relations?
Verma thinks Pinterest is doing a great job managing developer relations so far, and expects the popular network to continue being “friendly” towards developers. From what Verma’s team has experienced, those companies providing value from Pinterest data will be the most likely to be successful in partnerships with Pinterest, safe from an executive decision to limit API access.
For more on developer relations, suggestions for developers considering APIs and additional details on Piquora’s latest news, here’s my segment from this morning on our NewsDesk show with Kristin Feledy:
Contributors: Maria Deutcher