It is being reported this morning that Apple is now involved in talks to purchase Pinterest’s closest thing to a rival, The Fancy.
Admittedly I personally don’t know much about Fancy other than the name is bit weird (Is it Fancy or The Fancy? Does it play off the idea of wanting or ‘fancying’ something? Anyway ….). We all are aware that Pinterest has been getting a lot of traction from not only an expanding user base but also an expanding business base who see the value of driving visual content to increase exposure and hopefully drive users to sales.
Apple’s play for its less popular but more commerce driven competitor could be something big. Here is what the Business Insider is saying
Apple is in talks to acquire The Fancy, a fast-growing social commerce site backed by cofounders of Twitter and Facebook, Business Insider has learned.
The objective: to secure a role for Apple in the growing e-commerce market, putting the 400 million-plus users with credit cards on file with Apple’s iTunes Store to work shopping—with Apple getting a cut of the action.
While The Fancy is far smaller than archrival Pinterest, which similarly lets users make lists of things they find interesting, the 20-person New York startup, led by cofounder 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.
Apple has money, tons of money, and it looks like it wants more. The strategy to get it seems to be to continue to produce the high quality products that it is best known for but also to own as much of the online experience as it can to try to keep those who own iOS devices inside of Apple’s ever growing, happy family of services. As pointed out in the quote above, its iTunes store is ripe for the picking with a lot of well off people right on the cusp of purchasing anything and everything through it.
Recently, Apple has made a similar move to create its own search environment of sorts. It is moving away from partnering with Google (no more Google Maps as the backend of its maps app and YouTube being removed as a native app for iOS 6) and it has Siri, so Apple is working to keep people as close to the Apple mothership as possible to make it easier for them to turn to Apple for everything. Not for nothing, but if this trend continues at what point does Apple get the same scrutiny that Google currently does for its business practices and vision?
But back to The Fancy and Pinterest.
One thing to remember is that this is a rumor at this point. It looks as if BI has done its homework but given its predilection toward over the top ‘reporting’ and headlines to to make any link baiter envious, this could all be for naught. It is an interesting thing to consider, however, since Apple is looking for ways to further capitalize on its dominance in the mobile space.
What do you think of an Apple world that isn’t quite as restrictive and obvious as the walled garden of the iOS system but keeps users as close to the company as possible? As a result, it makes it even easier for those users to give more of their available dollars to Apple through convenience more than anything else? Too much? Just right? What’s your take?