Rakuten, Inc. (“Rakuten,” Chairman and CEO: Hiroshi Mikitani. Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) has announced the instalment of a “Pin It” button on its Rakuten Ichiba internet shopping mall, Rakuten Travel and Rakuten Recipe sites. The new feature allows users to collect or share images of their liking through the Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/) social networking service.
Rakuten, together with several investment firms, bought a share in Pinterest, a social networking service (SNS) growing rapidly in the United States, on 17 May. The investment was made through allocation of $100 million in new stock. Rakuten is the only company participating in the rights offering.
Pinterest, which runs a growing US social networking service of the same name, provides an online service for collecting and sharing photographs. With a simple format for sharing stylish images that is reminiscent of a scrapbook, the site attracted 11.7 million visitors in January 2012, and by March had grown to be the third-biggest social networking site in the United States. (Source: US survey firm comScore, Experian Hitwise)
Rakuten and Pinterest will further enhance their alliance in the future, with plans to accelerate the rollout of Pinterest’s services in Japan. As a first step, however, a “Pin It” button will be added to Rakuten Travel, Rakuten Recipe and Rakuten Ichiba, the largest internet shopping mall in the country.
Just by clicking on the “Pin It” button, product images the user is looking at on Rakuten Ichiba, Rakuten Travel or Rakuten Recipe can be transferred to their board or shared with friends and acquaintances.
Already, Rakuten Group pages host SNS buttons from Facebook, mixi, Twitter and Google+, as well a one-click function allowing users to post a link to their own choice of blog. Installation of a “Pin It” button is intended not only to boost the visibility of Pinterest in Japan.