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Pinterest has confirmed that it will introduce Buyable Pins, the company announced at an event at its San Francisco headquarters Tuesday.
A buy pin had been reportedly been in the works in recent months, but the company declined to comment at the time and it was unclear how the company would implement purchases and what other parties would be involved.
But the company Tuesday made it a point to illustrate that security and anti-fraud measures were in place. Pinterest is working with Stripe to handle payments, and is also working with Braintree and Apple to make sure "Pinterest's servers never touch customer's credit card information."
Users can make purchases through Apple Pay or by using a credit card, with users only needing to enter credit card information into the app one time. Once users enter their payment information, Pinterest sends the data via an encrypted channel to what executives called a "vault," where the merchants will the get the data from. Merchants will then let Pinterest know the transaction was made.
There will be no fee for merchants or Pinterest users, the company said, and the onus for returns will be on merchants, not Pinterest. Buyable Pins will be available to iPhone and iPad users later this month; it's not clear when they will be available for Android and desktop users.
Launch partners for Buyable Pins include major retailers like Macy's, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, Michael's, Jo Ann Fabric, as well as brands like Kate Spade, Cole Haan, among others. At launch, Pinterest will have about 2 million items ready for purchase, a fraction of the 50 billion pins that exist on Pinterest. Buyable Pins will be available on all of Pinterest's features, including search and recommendations.
Pinterest founder and CEO Ben Silbermann said that the goal was to make shopping optimal for phones, noting that 80% of people buying things on Pinterest buy those things from their phones.
Pinterest users will also be able to place a price cap on their search, and Pinterst will only show them items that fall under that range.
2015 is shaping up to be a critical year for Pinterest, as the company seeks to prove its valuation, both to investors and marketers. Just two weeks ago, the company unveiled a flurry of new ad products, including Cinematic Pins, and also named its first monetization executive.
The company this year has also been refining its targeting abilities. This summer it will offer audience targeting that corresponds to users' interests, life stages and personas. Marketers will be able to target audiences such as millennials, gardeners, foodies, travelers, and so on. Prior to this Pinterest offered category targeting like sports, or more narrowly, soccer -- what Mr. Kendall called "classic contextual targeting within Pinterest categories" -- but the company had hinted at creating more sophisticated targeting services.