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Pinterest launches live shopping on Pinterest TV

In response to live-shopping trends, Pinterest launched Pinterest TV, offering creators the ability to host live shopping shows on the visual discovery platform.

The news: Pinterest is diving deeper into the creator economy with Pinterest TV, allowing its creators to showcase and tag products so other users can shop and purchase on retailers' sites. Starting on Nov. 8, episodes will air Monday through Friday in the U.S. on iOS and Android devices.

How it works: Pinterest TV will give influencers access to the platform’s 454 million global users, enabling hosts to demo and sell products via its shopping tools. Pinterest TV's “product drawer” will display prices, product details, and brand collaborations. Similar to conventional broadcast shopping shows — like QVC — Pinterest TV shows will display how much quantity of an item remains and a limited-time-offer module to offer customers discounts.

Backstage support: Pinterest employees will moderate the discussion and work directly with hosts to help develop their show before they go live as well as provide A/V support. Pinterest reports that some of the 21 creators that piloted the program have more than doubled their following after hosting 30-minute live episodes.

Applications: If you want to pitch your idea to Pinterest, apply via this link.

Early collabs: Pinterest TV is focusing on its “top creators” to start, and has already partnered with the likes of fashion designer Christian Siriano, screenwriter Monica Suriyage, beauty entrepreneur Manny MUA, and others.

What it means: Nearly every social media platform is vying for their creators' attention, and Pinterest is no different. Pinterest TV represents an evolution the company’s been working on for years towards becoming the go-to platform for streaming e-commerce sales.

All the rage: In China, particularly, e-commerce live streaming has become wildly popular as about 37% of China’s online shoppers made a live stream purchase in 2019. China’s e-commerce live-streaming industry hit nearly $165 million in 2020.

Industry outlook: Video is core to every major social network, and Pinterest has lagged behind TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Pinterest’s new offering aims to capitalize on not only shifting consumer behavior but also the growing creator economy, which is estimated to be worth more than $100 billion.

Creator rewards: To incentivize video creation, Pinterest announced it’ll dish out $20 million to creators for generating “inspirational” content. Pinterest also recently debuted a Tik-Tok-inspired feature called “Takes” that allows users to tag products in their Idea Pins. The San Francisco-based firm hopes the move will make its content more shoppable.

Background: Consumers are increasingly turning to and being persuaded by influencers’ endorsements. As a result, companies are expected to spend about $13.8 billion on influencer marketing in 2021 — up from $9.7 billion in 2020. In China, for example, "top influencers have their own shows and appear each night for 4 hours at a stretch, from roughly 8 p.m. to midnight, selling highly curated products, often at deep discounts," according to Forbes.

Proven predictor: Pinterest has a knack for predicting trends before they’re popular. About 80% of the trends in the annual Pinterest Predicts report continued to climb throughout 2021, including athflow, skinimalism and “vibey lights.”

PayPal punts: Rumors that PayPal planned to buy Pinterest for $45 billion have cooled. PayPal stakeholders balked at the prospect, prompting the company to affirm it’s not pursuing an acquisition of Pinterest. The deal would’ve been one of the largest consumer internet acquisitions in a decade.

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