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If so, the Pinterest vs. Fancy war just got way more interesting. Business Insider is reporting that Apple is in talks to acquire the social shopping site, and though they're secretive about sources, they give a whole bunch of convincing reasons why this sounds like a legit rumor.
The most interesting question here is why Apple would pay a king's ransom for a fledgling company that, let's be honest, is getting its ass kicked in terms of sheer number of users by Pinterest. BI says the answer is e-commerce.
The acquisition would allow Apple to dip into the e-commerce market—and put "the 400 million-plus users with credit cards on file with Apple's iTunes Store to work shopping." Apple, naturally, would be getting a cut of the action.
The Fancy has long insisted that their unique ability to translate "inspiration" into an actual shopping transaction is what sets them apart from Pinterest. "Many people say they do social shopping, but nobody does it as extensively as we do," The Fancy CEO Joe Einhorn told TechCrunch. Also, the company has a unique connection to the fashion industry, as one of its big investors is PPR, which owns several of the biggest and most influential luxury brands in the world, including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen. It's a relationship that is working in The Fancy's favor—those brands and many others in the PPR family feature The Fancy’s social commerce integrations on their websites.
The idea is that Apple can benefit from The Fancy's ability to convert sales by connecting their gigantic database of people who have a credit card stored on iTunes or the Apple app store (so, pretty much everyone you know) to The Fancy's stream of desirable objects. "Apple could well build an e-commerce layer into its operating system and let application developers hook into it, giving them a way to make money besides advertising," BI speculates.
Though the article is careful to note that "there is no signed deal and no guarantee one will happen," it sounds like the gears have been in motion for some time now. Stay tuned.
· Apple Wants To Buy Pinterest Rival The Fancy [Business Insider]
· Game On: The Fancy Trumps Pinterest With New "Buy Now" Button [Racked]