Polyvore shuts down following acquisition by Ssense
Fans of Polyvore are upset that luxury e-commerce company Ssense shut down Polyvore after acquiring the digital fashion platform from Verizon subsidiary Oath, per Footwear News. Montreal-based Ssense announced the purchase last week and posted a statement on its Twitter account. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Polyvore withdrew support from its apps and discontinued its website, which started redirecting users to the Ssense home page. The online retailer will gain access to Polyvore’s usernames, email addresses and other data unless users choose to opt out.
Some “Polyfam” members are expressing their disapproval on social media with the hashtag #BringBackPolyvore that urges Ssense to reopen the Pinterest-like platform for fashion. Polyvore users have until May 10 to download their content before the service is unavailable.
Polyvore claimed 20 million active monthly users in 2012, but its membership likely declined in the past few years. Its worldwide traffic ranking was 3,294 according to Alexa, down from around 2,000 a year ago, per Business of Fashion. The shutdown of Polyvore may have been unavoidable as its audience dwindled, underscoring the challenges social apps face as competition in the space grows. Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest all have a strong visual orientation that supports fashion-related content and are growing. Amazon is also trying to build a presence with fashion-driven shoppers through its Look style assistant and Spark social media services.
Polyvore had accumulated a loyal following during its 11 years of operating a service that resembled Pinterest, but with a focus on fashion. Its users could create and share virtual “mood boards” that were curated from a database of clothing, accessories, beauty products and decor items found on the internet. Some fashion brands would pay Polyvore to feature their collections, while other brands paid to promote fashion trends or individual products.
Lauren Coates, a high school student who started an online petition to “Bring Back Polyvore,” said she had used the site for four years as a fashion site and to communicate with other people, per Business of Fashion. The shutdown by Ssense has left some users scrambling for ways to connect with the communities they had formed on Polyvore.
Polyvore has undergone several ownership changes as the digital media landscape came to be dominated by Google and Facebook, especially in the past few years. Yahoo in 2015 acquired Polyvore for about $200 million, per Recode, as former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer sought to boost growth for its Yahoo Style and Yahoo Beauty sections. Yahoo ended up being acquired by Verizon, which combined its media properties like AOL under its Oath brand.