Pinterest acquires mobile ad tech talent, but not the tech, because content
The URX team’s knack for teaching computers how to recognize and recommend content will be applied to Pinterest’s own content through the acqui-hire.
Pinterest has acquired the team — but not the technology or any other asset — from mobile ad-tech company URX, the social network/visual search engine announced on Tuesday.
URX sells advertisers and publishers technology that could be used to identify details of the content someone was checking out and then determine which shoppable mobile ads to show that person. Or at least it did. Pinterest plans to shut down the product in the wake of the acqui-hire, according to a Pinterest spokesperson.
Why pick up an ad-tech team, but none of the tech? Because the URX team appears to be good at teaching computers how to understand the content people check out on their phones and recommend other content they might be interested in. In their previous lives, they did that to help advertisers piggyback that content, like showing a headphones ad to someone reading a music article. But now, Pinterest wants them to put their talents toward teaching Pinterest’s computers which of its more than 50 billion pins it should be showing the more than 100 million people who use its service each month, whether those people are browsing feeds a la Facebook or searching for something specific a la Google.
“Pinterest is the world’s catalog of ideas with a majority mobile and international user base. We’re focused on building useful and relevant experiences to help people discover ideas and bring those ideas to life. We can now accelerate our efforts with the URX team, who are leaders in mobile content understanding, recommendations, monetization and discovery,” Pinterest’s head of product, Jack Chou, said in a statement.
Roughly half of the URX team will be joining Pinterest across its product management, engineering and partnerships teams, the spokesperson said. URX CEO John Milinovich will become a product manager on Pinterest’s content team.