Timeline of Pinterest

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This is a timeline of Pinterest, an Internet service that serves as a "visual discovery tool", as well as the eponymous company.

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
August 2008 – December 2009 Conception The product is conceived by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra as part of Cold Brew Labs.
January 2010 – early 2012 Product build-out, userbase growth, policy tuning Pinterest grows steadily, raises a few rounds of money, releases mobile apps, and makes policy changes to better accommodate concerns surrounding copyright, opt-out and not reusing user content.
Early 2012 onward Large funding rounds and aggressive acquisitions Pinterest raises multiple large rounds of funding at steadily rising valuations ($100 million Series C at $1.5 billion valuation, $200 million Series D at $2.5 billion valuation, $225 million Series E at $3.8 billion valuation, $200 million Series F at $5 billion valuation, and $553 million Series G at $11 billion valuation) and also aggressively acquires companies.
April 2014 onward Search and monetization focus Pinterest begins honing in on its focus as a search-based guided discovery platform. It also begins experimenting with monetization, beginning with Promoted Pins, and improves support for businesses using Pinterest by launching an analytics dashboard.
June 2015 onward In-app commerce Pinterest partners with Shopify and retailers to launch Buyable Pins, special types of pins that people can use to make purchases within Pinterest itself. Although Buyable Pins do not cost the seller money, Pinterest clarifies that sellers may choose to promote Buyable Pins just as they can promote other pins.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
2008 August Company Paul Sciarra quits his job at New York venture capital firm Radius Capital, and Ben Silbermann quits his job at Google, and the two together found Cold Brew Labs.[1][2]
2009 early year Product Cold Brew Labs receives institutional funding from FirstMark Capital for Tote, an app in the iPhone app store that they would eventually abandon in favor of developing Pinterest.[1]
2009 November, December Product Pinterest is conceptualized by co-founders Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra.[1][2]
2010 (date unclear, reported in some sources as January 1) Funding Pinterest completes an angel round of funding, with investors FirstMark Capital, Jeremy Stoppelman, Jack Abraham, Michael Birch, Scott Belsky, Shana Fisher, Kevin Hartz, Brian Cohen, Hank Vigil, Fritz Lanman, William Lohse.[1][3]
2010 March Product The first prototype of the product is launched and made available to a small group of colleagues and family members.[1]
2010 early year Potential acquisition The company's investors and co-founder Ben Silbermann try to encourage a New York-based magazine publishing company to buy Pinterest but the publisher declines to meet with the founders.[1]
2010 May 24–26 Publicity Pinterest participates in the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City. According to a history of the company in Business Insider, the company is "nowhere near the main stage startup competition. It didn't even get the booth on its own merits; FirstMark Capital was a Disrupt sponsor, and it had to pull strings."[1]
2010 May 31 Funding Former IAC M&A boss Shana Fisher calls the company and says that she loved its product, and wants to invest if they would let her.[1]
2011 March Product Pinterest releases an iPhone app that brings in more than the expected number of downloads.[1]
2011 May 7 Funding Series A: The company secures a $10 million USD Series A financing led by Jeremy Levine and Sarah Tavel of Bessemer Venture Partners. Other investors include angel investor FirstMark Capital, Jack Abraham, Kevin Hartz, and Michael Birch from the angel round. as well as super angel Ron Conway.[1][4][5]
2011 August 16 Publicity Time magazine lists Pinterest in its "50 Best Websites of 2011" article.[6]
2011 October 7 Funding Series B: After an introduction from Kevin Hartz and Jeremy Stoppelman, the company secures $27 million USD in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which values the company at $200 million USD. Earlier investors FirstMark Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners also invest.[7][8]
2012 February 20 Product, copyright Pinterest releases a "nopin" HTML meta tag that allowed websites to opt out of allowing their content to be pinned.[9] Soon (February 24), Flickr implements the code to allow users to opt out of allowing their photos to be pinned.[10]
2012 March Product, copyright Pinterest releases a statement that it believes its use of photos and content in pins is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provisions.[11]
2012 March 13 Product, publicity Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann appears on stage at the South by Southwest conference, and announces that revamped profile pages and other product improvements are on their way.[12]
2012 March 23 Product, copyright Pinterest eliminates the policy that gives it the right to sell user content, with the change going into effect on April 6.[13][14]
2012 April 6 Team Co-founder Paul Sciarra leaves his position at Pinterest for a consulting job as entrepreneur in residence at Andreessen Horowitz.[15]
2012 February, June Userbase Ann Romney, wife of 2012 US presidential election candidate Mitt Romney, starts using Pinterest in February.[16][17] Michelle Obama, wife of incumbent president Barack Obama, starts using Pinterest in June.[18]
2012 May 1 Product, copyright Pinterest adds automatic attribution of authors on images originating from Flickr, Behance, YouTube, and Vimeo. Automatic attribution is also added for Pins from sites mirroring content on Flickr. At the same time Flickr added a Pin shortcut to its share option menu to users who have not opted out of sharing their images.[19]
2012 May 17 Funding Series C: Japanese electronic commerce company Rakuten announces it is leading a $100 million investment in Pinterest, alongside investors including Slow Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital, based on a valuation of $1.5 billion.[20][21][22]
2012 August 10 Product, userbase Pinterest opens to the public and no longer requires a request or an invitation to join the site.[23][24]
2012 August 14 Product, userbase Pinterest launches apps for Android and iPad.[25]
2012 September 20 Team Pinterest announces the hiring of its new head of engineering, Jon Jenkins. Jenkins comes from Amazon, where he spent eight years as an engineering lead and was also a director of develop tools, platform analysis and website platform.[26]
2012 October 14 Product Pinterest launches business accounts allowing businesses to either convert their existing personal accounts into business accounts, or start from scratch.[27]
2012 October 17 Product Pinterest announces a new feature that would allow users to report others for negative and offensive activity or block other users if they do not want to view their content. Pinterest said they want to keep their community "positive and respectful."[28]
2013 January 3 Acquisitions by Pinterest Pinterest acquires and announces plans to shut down recipe discovery site Punchfork.[29]
2013 February 20 Funding Series D: Pinterest raises $200 million at a $2.5 billion valuation from Bessemer Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, and Valiant Capital Partners.[30][31]
2013 March 20 Acquisitions by Pinterest Pinterest acquires mobile startup Livestar at undisclosed terms.[32][33]
2013 October 11 Acquisitions by Pinterest Pinterest acquires Hackermeter. The company’s co-founders, Lucas Baker and Frost Li, join Pinterest as engineers.[34]
2013 October 23 Funding Series E: Pinterest receives a $225 million round of equity funding that valued the website at $3.8 billion. Investors include Fidelity Investments (new), as well as FirstMark Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Valiant Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners (from Series D).[35][36]
2014 January 6 Acquisitions by Pinterest Pinterest acquires image recognition and visual search startup VisualGraph.[37]
2014 April 24, June 11 Product April 24: Pinterest announces and releases Guided Search for its mobile apps, a new visual way to explore Pinterest’s more than 30 billion pins—links or images chosen by users and assigned by them to topical collections.[38][39] June 11: Guided Search is released on the web version of the site.[40][41]
2014 May 12 Product (advertising) Pinterest launches "Promoted Pins" that would allow companies to sponsor results in its search results and category feeds.[42][43][44]
2014 May 15 Funding Series F: Pinterest receives $200 million in funding at a $5 billion valuation. Investors include SV Angel (a new investor, though partner Ron Conway had personally invested in Pinterest earlier) as well as Series E investors Valiant Capital Partners, FirstMark Capital, Fidelity Investments, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz.[45][46][47][48]
2014 July 30 Acquisitions by Pinterest Pinterest acquires Icebergs, described as a "Pinterest for creatives" by TechCrunch.[49]
2014 August 6 Product Pinterest adds a direct messaging feature that allows users to discuss pins privately.[50][51]
2014 August 26 Product Pinterest launches a new analytics dashboard for business users.[52]
2014 October 6 Product Pinterest releases "Pin Picks" that are weekly curations of their own content.[53]
2014 December 28 Product (advertising) Pinterest opens up promoted pins to all advertisers, following what they perceive as success of their beta program.[54][55]
2015 January 23 Product Pinterest debuts new search filters that give users more control over the pins they see. Commentators believe the aim of these is to go after the male demographic, which tends to be put off by the female-heavy pins on the site.[56]
2015 January 27 Product (advertising) Pinterest announces that it will begin showing Promoted Pins in users' home feeds, thereby expanding the reach of Promoted Pins considerably.[57][58]
2015 February 11 Product, partnerships Pinterest announces a partnership with Apple Inc. whereby people using Pinterest's iOS app on iPhones or iPads can directly download iOS apps from within Pinterest itself, using special types of pins called app Pins.[59][60]
2015 March 16, May 8 Funding Series G: Pinterest raises a total of $553 million at a $11 billion valuation, and allows employees to sell part of their vested stock in secondary markets. It is initially reported (as of March 16) that the company has raised $367 million.[61][62] On May 8, the raising of an additional $186 million is announced.[63][64]
2015 April 2 Product Pinterest debuts a new "Pin It" button that requires fewer steps to bookmark a Pin, and that, according to tests, increases the number of pinning actions by 3%. The new button is developed by the team from Icebergs, a company acquired by Pinterest the previous year.[65]
2015 April 3 Acquisitions by Pinterest Pinterest acquires Hike Labs, a two-person startup developing a mobile publishing application called Drafty, in order to gain the technology expertise of the two people. One of the people, Jason Shellen, was a founding team member at Blogger and Google Reader as well as a co-founder at Thing Labs.[66]
2015 April 27 Product Pinterest announces the launch of Marketing Developer Partners (MDP), its program to help marketers use Pinterest more effectively, by helping them schedule pins and incorporate performance feedback to post better pins.[67][68][69]
2015 May 4 Product, platform Pinterest launches the beta version of its developer platform, that allows developers to use data about Pinterest users who connect their accounts to external applications.[70][71] Interested developers can sign up to have their names added to a white list that will be given this access.
2015 May 18 Product, advertising Pinterest introduces a new video ad format called Cinematic Pins, where the video plays only either while the user is scrolling or if the user taps on the pin. This is in contrast with existing autoplay videos used by Facebook and other companies for their feeds.[72][73][74][75][76]
2015 June 2 Product Pinterest announces the launch of Buyable Pins, a special type of pin that can be used to make purchases within Pinterest itself. When users select a Buyable Pin, they have the option of choosing the item they wish to buy (for instance, choosing between different dress sizes and colors), and they can then make the purchase within the app using a variety of payment methods, including Apple Pay. Launch partners include Shopify and Demandware. The buyable pins are free to use, and Pinterest does not take a cut of the purchases made. However, Pinterest intends to allow sellers to promote buyable pins just as they can promote other pins.[77][78][79][80]
2015 June 30 Product Pinterest begins rolling out Buyable Pins on iPhone and iPad.[81]
2015 July 8 Product, platform Pinterest rolls out the first integrations on its developer platform (first announced on May 4). These include integrations from IFTTT and Polyvore.[82]
2015 October 5 Product Pinterest announces the expansion of Buyable Pins to new partners in addition to its original partner list of Shopify and Demandware. The new partners include Bigcommerce, Magento, and IBM Commerce. Pinterest also notes that there are now 60 million Buyable Pins on the site.[83][84][85]
2015 November 8 Product Pinterest begins rolling out a visual search tool that allows users to select part of an image and find similar Pins.[86][87]
2015 December Product Pinterest launches a new way for users to monitor price drops on buyable pins. "When users save pins, they'll get a heads up when a price drops in the form of an in-app notification and an email. They can then jump straight to that pin and make the purchase."[88]
2016 June 15 Acquisition Fleksy announces that it was purchased by Pinterest.[89] Half of the team moved to Pinterest's product engineering team. The Fleksy application itself was open sourced.[90]
2016 July Acquisition Pinterest acquires Math Camp, the team that built Highlight, Roll, and Shorts. Most of the Math Camp team would join Pinterest. Math Camp's products are not part of the deal, so these would shut down and the source code is planned to be open sourced.[91][92][93]
2016 August Product Pinterest launches a video player that lets users and brands upload and store clips of any length straight to the site.[94] It also begins implementing visual search tools on videos.[95]
2016 August 9 Company Pinterest announces that it would open its first engineering office outside the Bay Area in Seattle. The office would temporarily be located in the WeWork building in downtown Seattle.[96][97]
2016 August 17 Product (advertising) Pinterest launches video advertising to a limited number of partners. The feature is known as "Promoted Video Pins", and allows advertisers to place video ads.[98][99]
2016 August 23 Acquisition Pinterest announces that it would be acquiring the team behind Instapaper, which will continue operating as a separate app. The Instapaper team will both work on the core Pinterest experience and updating Instapaper.[100]
2016 October 13 Userbase Pinterest reaches 150 million monthly users. Leaked documents from late 2015 showed that Pinterest had been targeting 151 million users by the end of 2015, making this milestone behind schedule.[101]
2016 November 10 Product Pinterest begins showing a "Tried it" checkmark on Pins, which allows users to share the products, recipes, and ideas they have tried.[102][103]
2017 February 1 Product (advertising) Pinterest begins rolling out search advertising for a limited group of partners. These marketers will be able to run search ad campaigns through their Kenshoo dashboards.[104]
2017 February 7 Product Pinterest simultaneously launches three products related to visual search: (1) Lens, which allows users to take photos of objects to find Pins related those objects; (2) Instant Ideas, a circle button that appears on each Pin that, when tapped, displays related Pins; and (3) Shop the Look, a circle button that appears on each individual item within a photo that, when tapped, displays Pins related to that item.[105][106]

See also

References

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