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FinTech Giant PayPal Explores $45B Acquisition of Pinterest

PayPal is on an expansion path according to media reports of an offer to purchase of Pinterest at $70 per share in a $45 billion deal, mostly in stock. PayPal as of its most recent quarterly report, issued July 28, had $311 billion in receipts for Q2. PayPal’s share price fell 5 percent on the news, ending at $258.36 per share Wednesday. The move marks a decisive interest by PayPal to stake its claim in the space where content meets e-commerce. Pinterest, meanwhile, has launched a $20 million Creator Rewards fund and added more video features to its site.

The $70 per share translates to about a 25 percent increase from Pinterest’s Wednesday opening share price according to The New York Times, which notes that “If completed, the deal would be the largest in the consumer Internet industry over the past decade, topping Microsoft’s $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016 and Salesforce’s $27.7 billion acquisition of Slack last year, according to the data service firm Dealogic.”

Creator Rewards includes a suite of video tools, “like the ability to respond to videos with ‘Takes,'” reports TechCrunch, likening the offerings to those of Snapchat and TikTok. The expanded toolkit allows users to tag their Pins with links from the Amazon Associates affiliate program. This summer Pinterest incorporated affiliate programs from Rakuten and ShopStyle.

Pinterest is redesigning its home page in a more video-forward format. “Pinterest could have an advantage in that it lets viewers save the Pin and organize it into your Pinterest Boards,” notes TechCrunch. “TikTok, meanwhile, is very lacking in terms of saving and organizing the content you liked and want to refer back to, leading many users to download videos to their phone instead.”

Pinterest’s newly debuting Takes feature allows creators to respond to somebody else’s Idea Pin with a Pin of their own, with the response linking back to the sourced original. “A creator could try someone’s recipe but then offer their own variation” or “replicate the project another creator suggested, and show their results,” TechCrunch offers by way of examples.

To launch Takes, Pinterest has enlisted celebrities Jennifer Lopez, Megan Thee Stallion and Storm Reid.

The company is also launching Creator Originals with content from more than 100 creators across 10 countries, running now through January 2022. The creators will advise Pinterest users on expertise in areas including beauty, cooking, home décor, wellness and fashion.

Related:
Pinterest’s Marketing Allure Drives Suitors’ Interest, The Wall Street Journal, 10/21/21
Why PayPal Buying Pinterest Isn’t Really That Weird, Yahoo! Finance, 10/21/21

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Startup Hopes to Shake Up Textbook Market By Encouraging a Mix-and-Match of Courseware (EdSurge)

"A new startup wants to shake up the textbook market by making it easier for professors to adopt courseware created at colleges and universities rather than by commercial textbook publishers. It’s solution: Create a new marketplace where instructors can find them."—Source: EdSurge
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Snapchat Offers Tools for Parents, AR Studio for Advertisers

In the wake of a Congressional inquiry regarding the safety of minors using online platforms, Snapchat is preparing to debut “family engagement” tools, according to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. Speaking at WSJ Tech Live, Spiegel said the features will allow parents greater control as to how children use the service. Spiegel emphasized privacy as built-in to Snapchat, noting “we never market our service to people under the age of 13.” Keen to market to millennials and Gen Zers, Snap also announced this week it’s launching Arcadia, a global creative studio focused on developing augmented reality advertising and experiences for brands.

Arcadia will develop experiences for web platforms and app-based AR environments. The unit will be capable of assuming the entirety of a brand’s AR production or just advising and consulting on AR strategy, including through workshops and trend reporting.

“Arcadia delivers a compelling solution for brands and agencies who understand the immediate value of developing world-class AR experiences, rooted in craft, technology and customer experience,” Snapchat global head of creative strategy Jeff Miller said in a statement.

Speaking of the family engagement tools, Spiegel said, “We haven’t announced the name of this product yet, but we basically have a family center so that young people and their parents can use Snapchat together,” it was reported in TechCrunch, which said the product is expected to debut in the months ahead. The idea is to give parents access to data as to who their teens might be interacting with on Snapchat and their privacy settings, as well as other things.

According to TechCrunch, “These types of conversations can be a learning experience for both parents and teens alike and can give parents the opportunity to guide their teens through some of the difficulties that come with using social media — like how to navigate uncomfortable situations, such as what to do if a stranger contacts you, for example.”

A Snapchat spokesperson said the new family engagement tools will combine educational components with the parental control tools. Responsible for the parental controls unit is Jacqueline Beauchere, recently named Snapchat’s first ever global head of platform safety after joining from Microsoft where she was chief online safety officer.

Snap’s initiative comes as regulatory scrutiny of social media companies has intensified. “As U.S. lawmakers consider legislation that would require tech companies to implement new safeguards to better protect minors on their services, tech companies have been trying to get ahead of the coming crackdown by putting into place their own interpretations of those rules now,” TechCrunch reports.

TikTok, Instagram and Google are all touting new safety measures for children.

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