With its millions of Pins dedicated to “shoe envy” and “outfit inspiration,” Pinterest has long been a way for the fashion-addicted to collect style tips and curate shopping wish lists. Earlier this year, the company took its most popular use case a step further with the launch of Buyable Pins, which allow users to purchase items directly from Pinterest’s mobile app.
Now, Pinterest is refining its search and discovery technology by acquiring the teams behind The Hunt, a crowdsourced shopping site, and Pext, a meme-generating app. According to Pinterest, the two companies “include some of the best minds in mobile shopping, advertising and image indexing technologies.”
“The magic of Pinterest happens when you discover something you love that you didn’t even know existed,” engineering head Michael Lopp wrote in a statement. “We call it ‘building serendipity,’ and it’s all powered by world class engineering making sure the right pin is discovered by the right Pinner at the right time.”
The purchase is what the tech industry refers to as an acqui-hire–when a company is bought for its talent rather than its product. What Pinterest covets, it seems, is Pext cofounder Harsh Goel’s image-indexing experience and the discovery capabilities that The Hunt CEO Tim Weingarten brings to the table.
The new hires “will be incredibly valuable as we continue to build a discovery engine that helps people plan their everyday lives,” Lopp said. In other words, serving up good content on Pinterest is crucial to making shoppers, in particular, feel at home on its site and app; down the road, it’s likely Pinterest will give brands the ability to promote those Buyable Pins.
Pinterest would not reveal the terms of the deals, though they bring the company’s total number of acquisitions to nine.