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Is Pinterest Adding A Buy Button?

There is buzz that soon social networking site Pinterest will be offering users more than a chance to "pin" it - where it is defined as whatever item they are looking at a picture of.  Reports are circulating that Pinterest could be adding a buy button in the three-to-six-months-from-now range.

The buy button would allow Pinterest enthusiasts to directly order the products they discover on Pinterest without leaving the company’s website or app, according to sources that spoke anonymously to Re/Code.

Pinterest’s 70 million monthly visitors are presently able to save and share images of things by "pinning" them.  However, ever since Pinterest launched a few years ago, observers, analysts and users have been commenting on the commerce opportunity that is lost because the pins are not shoppable.

Other monetization schemes recently pursed by the social network have been Promoted Pins and an "install" button that allows users download iPhone and iPad apps from within Pinterest.  These early efforts could be dwarfed as Pinterest realizes its potential to evolve into a spectacular e-commerce platform.

Pinterest declined to comment on the company’s e-commerce strategy. Instead, the company responded: “Part of our strategy to help people discover new things, save them, and do these things in real life has always been to make Pins more useful.”

To handle the payments processing, Pinterest is reportedly close to an agreement with Stripe. It’s not clear whether Pinterest’s advertising and commerce products will be integrated.

Facebook and Twitter have already begun experimenting with e-commerce through the use of their own Buy buttons, and start-ups like Fancy, Wish and Wanelo are trying to tap into the social shopping potential that Pinterest is largely thought to embody. Pressured by tech giants on one side and eager start-ups on the other, Pinterest may be rolling out their shopping service sooner than it had originally planned, according to speculation in Re/Code.

Despite coming late to the game, Pinterest has an advantage over Facebook and Twitter because its users are already coming to the site to find new products.

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