Microsoft’s interest to acquire a social media giant came to light in 2020 when it tried to buy the US operations of TikTok.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) approached Pinterest Inc with a deal to acquire the social media company in recent times according to the Financial Times. The talks were currently not active according to the report as Microsoft has over the years has been trying to lay hands on an acquisition that targets amassing a portfolio of active online communities that could run alongside its cloud computing platform.
Pinterest, a social media platform where millions of users post images of things they have or are interested in as well as places they will like to visit, fits Microsoft’s description of the perfect source of data for customers of Microsoft’s marketing services while doubling as raw material for training the company’s Artificial intelligence systems.
Interest of Microsoft in Pinterest
Microsoft’s plan to acquire a social media giant came to light in 2020 when it tried to buy the US operations of TikTok, a popular Chinese video app that needed to divest its US business over national security concerns from the Trump administration. Tik Tok rejected the bid from Microsoft Corporation and opted for a deal with the Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) and Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) partnership.
Although Pinterest’s financials took a hit last year, with the company losing $128 million, it also had its best-ever year with regards to social media’s growth. The social media giant is now a public company with a $51 billion valuation. Pinterest announced they added a record of over 100 million monthly active users in 2020, more than any other year in the company’s history, almost triplicating the company’s share price across the past year. The social media company now boasts of over 450 million monthly active users around the globe thanks to the pandemic-related surge.
Pinterest, like most tech companies and social media networks, saw its user base grow through the pandemic thanks to a general shift to virtual interactions which led to increased engagement on its network. The company recorded a 37% growth in active users, taking its numbers to 459 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Pinterest’s shares have also risen over seven times since it’s yearly low in the middle of March last year, posting a 76% rise in quarterly revenues last week.
Pinterest generates its revenue through its advertisements placed on the Pins, or posts, uploaded on the platform by users. The company has now introduced ad formats and e-commerce opportunities similar to that of rivals Tik Tok and Facebook, in a bid to expand its reach. Pinterest had previously stated that it wants to remain an independent company.
Microsoft Corporation has made several acquisitions in recent years including purchasing professional networking site LinkedIn for $26bn in 2016, GitHub,a network for software developers, as well as Minecraft, an online game that saw its users surpass 131m last year. The software developer also acquired private gaming company ZeniMax in a $7.5 billion deal last year.
Microsoft Corporation over the years however has been deemed “not so strong” in the competitive consumer space after some of its high profile purchases couldn’t live up to the expectations after it acquired them. MSN messenger which had over 350 million monthly active users slowly died under Microsoft as well as Skype which is steadily backsliding into irrelevancy.