Gullov-Singh partially ascribes Promoted Products’s success to the nature of its platform. Brands already integrate natively into Polyvore’s site and leverage its “Style Graph,” its technology and algorithm that automates product feeds for users based on past purchases and recommendations.
Because users can either authenticate via their Facebook login or email address, it gives Polyvore a way to construct profiles and personalize the overall experience.
“For any product, we probably extract 100 pieces of information that help us understand what that product is about and we match those attributes to every user that’s logged in to understand their taste,” Gullov-Singh said. “If you save outfits on the Remix app [a mobile app launched earlier this month that gives on-demand styling advice], it’ll be personalized on the desktop as well. That’s the big value we get from logged-in users – understand what’s trending to benefit the user who is not necessarily logged in.”
Although others – like Twitter and Pinterest – are rumored to be testing buy buttons to enable transactions onsite, he said that’s not on Polyvore’s road map.
“We’re an open platform, so we want to tell you what’s trending across every retailer and every brand,” he said. “When you become a marketplace like eBay or Etsy, which sell products as well, you have to narrow your focus on the merchants you want to participate in that marketplace, and I think that can put you in a smaller niche sometimes. When you’re trying to drive style ideas across all merchants, you have to be open and that lends itself more to an ad model right now.”
Founded by three former Yahoo engineers in 2007, Polyvore has amassed an audience of 20 million who curate 3 million user-generated outfits each month on its site and apps.