And Then He Pinned Me

Now That Instagram’s Wifed Up, Everyone’s Giving Pinterest the Acquisitional Eye

Instagram Day Comes in the Middle of Pinterest Month
screen shot 2012 04 10 at 1 05 37 pm Now That Instagrams Wifed Up, Everyones Giving Pinterest the Acquisitional Eye

Pinterest In All Her Glory

So, are we all Instagrammed out? We’ve covered how much money everyone made, how CEO Kevin Systrom is a self-taught programmer, and whether Facebook will be the death of the service. But now that everyone’s recovered from the billion-dollar sticker shock, the question is: What does this mean for Pinterest? Basically, she’s the prettiest girl in town, and she just caught the bouquet at her sorority sister’s wedding.

We’re not talking about Pinterest’s literal loveliness here. Rather, it’s already the 3rd most-visited social networking site, and it’s got a plan for generating revenue. And while Instagram helps Facebook get good at a weak spot (mobile photo sharing), Pinterest has wound circles around Facebook’s real Achilles heel: ecommerce. As investor Mark Birch writes:

Facebook however has their sites set on an even bigger and more audacious goal, building the next great commerce platform.  Their F-commerce strategy does not get the attention that other things do at Facebook, but make no mistake that Facebook is closely watching Pinterest.  If anything P-commerce is well ahead of F-commerce and completely disrupts Facebook’s strategy of enclosing commerce in their walled garden.

That means the Wall Street Journal‘s Heard on the Street is already name-checking Pinterest as a potential next move for the soon-to-be-public company. If Zuck was freaked out enough to plunk down a billion for Instagram, just think how much he would pay for an even stickier startup that’s already figured how to monetize.

Nor is Facebook the only suitor under discussion: The Guardian featured Pinterest as the lead image in this most-likely-to-be-acquired roundup, and over at Quora, the topic of “Pinterest Acquisition Offers & Interest” is suddenly seeing action. “There will definitely be a bidding war for Pinterest,” analyst Jake Wengroff tells ZDNet Asia. He promises the site will “definitely be acquired.” Strong words, sir.

CNET just goes straight for broke:

While there are a lot of very good companies that could easily get acquired for hundreds of millions of dollars, few have the same, critical values that Instagram has. And not just to Facebook. There’s really only one startup that emerges as most Instagram-like: Pinterest. All the others are battling for position as distant followers.

Even if Pinterest waves away outright acquisition offers, peHUB points out the company can have essentially whatever it wants from VCs:

The deal also means that venture capitalists who were flying golden paper airplane term sheets at Pinterest, telling the company it had a $1 billion valuation, will have to come up with a better offer.

Not a cheap date, in other words.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com