After watching Facebook spend $US1 billion on Instagram, there’s a lot of curiosity as to whether Google will buy Pinterest, one of the hottest startups in the world right now.
We spoke with Google’s vice president of corporate development — and Mergers & Acquisitions chief — David Lawee briefly to find out what he’s most interested in right now.
- Discovery of video is the hardest problem Google faces right now. “If you look at what we’re rooted in, it’s kind of obvious what we’re looking for….The most challenging problem we have right now is discovery of video, that’s the most challenging problem on the web. Social is one enabler, tagging is one enabler.”
- Adding a social layer helped, but it’s “not even 1 per cent where it should be,” Lawee said. “It’s not like we need to solve social for YouTube, we need to solve discovery on YouTube and social is a natural enabler”
When we asked if Pinterest was a good tool for discovery, he said “there’s a gazillion things, and Pinterest is a phenomenon that’s extraordinary”.
Pinterest is a way to discover things efficiently. You can find videos you would like to watch or jewelry you would like to buy more easily on the site.
You can already pin a YouTube video and load it directly from the site. It shows up on “pinboards” — boards of links and videos associated with a specific topic, like fitness.
Sounds at least like the M&A boss at Google has thought carefully about it.
Pinterest already drives a ton of traffic to sites like Amazon with its pinned links, and it’s structured in such a way that users can curate what they’re looking for exactly.
And after Facebook bought Instagram after about three days of negotiations, it appears Larry Page will have to be ready to move quickly.