After Microsoft tried but failed to acquire the US operations of TikTok last year, a new report from the Financial Times reveals that Microsoft was discussing an acquisition with Pinterest in recent months. The visual social network, which is currently valued at $51 billion dollars, would be Microsoft’s most expensive acquisition in the company's history. However, discussions between the two companies are “currently not active” according to the report.
Pinterest is a San Francisco-based company created in 2010, and it went public back in April 2019. It had 442 million monthly active users in December, and it’s especially popular with women, who represent more than 60% of the user-base. The company describes itself as a “visual discovery engine,” helping consumers collect things on the Internet that they’re passionate about, but it has grown to become a powerful discovery engine as well.
Even though Pinterest may not get the same level of attention as Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, it has been growing steadily in recent years. "Gen Z and Millennials are driving much of our growth, with the number of men on Pinterest also jumping nearly 50% year on year, too,” the company said back in July.
If Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26 billion five years ago, the company still lacks a more mainstream social platform that consumers love to use. Pinterest is also attracting more and more businesses interested in creating virtual storefronts for their products on the platform. Last year, the company introduced new ways to shop right from Pins, boards, and search.
Last year, Microsoft integrated the Collections feature in its new Edge browser with Pinterest. This currently allows Edge users to see suggestions of related Pins at the bottom of the Collections pane, which can easily be added to a Collection. Additionally, Edge users can also export an Edge collection to a Pinterest board.
Despite the two companies working together last year, it's possible that Pinterest's $51 billion valuation was too much for Microsoft. We won't know for sure, as both companies declined to comment the report from the Financial Times. As a reminder, though, Microsoft is about to complete the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, a video game company valued at a less much impressive $7.5 billion.