Pose has made some serious traction since it first launched its iPhone app in early 2011. Its mobile photo-sharing platform that lets people share snapshots of their outfits and tag them with brand and designer details now has one million users who have shared more than two million “poses” on the app. Right now, more than 10,000 poses are added to the platform each day from users all over the world, from Russia to Brazil to the US and far beyond — which CEO Dustin Rosen likes to put in perspective as “more fashion content than Vogue magazine produces in a year.”
And now, the Los Angeles-based startup is set to debut new features that could very well make its platform much more popular — for new user growth and current user stickiness.
Today Pose will launch its first ever native app made especially for the iPad. And along with the iPad app, Pose is launching its first ever revenue generating component, which will be active across all its platforms: “Shoppable content,” linking items tagged in Pose photos directly to e-commerce sites that sell them, letting users complete a purchase without ever leaving the Pose app. Pose will collect affiliate fees through each sale that has originated on its platform.
Sharing the spoils with users
Those may seem like pretty standard moves for Pose — but the real twist is how exactly the company is going to deploy that cash it will start making. Pose will take a “small piece” of each affiliate fee it collects when an item is sold, but will give the vast majority of the money to the user who originally shared the item in a photo. This money will be deposited through PayPal; Pose will also show each user detailed analytics on the purchasing activity around the items they’ve tagged and shared on Pose.
“We decided we wanted our bloggers to make a majority of the commission that we collect on each purchase because we think it’s really important that we let them really own their content and those links,” Rosen told me in a recent interview. “We just want to further incentivize them to share the best content. They’ve been asking for this [e-commerce] feature, and we really wanted to do it right.”
A different spin on user-generated content
It’s a very unique move. Most sites that are built on user-generated content — aka, pretty much all of social media — do not share the money they make around that content with the users who actually created it. At first it might seem crazy for a startup to give away the bulk of the cash it brings in on its very first revenue generating feature, but it shows that Pose is really thinking about the long-term. It's hard to think of something that would make users happier than receiving a check each month for doing what they do anyway — snap photos of their most stylish outfits. It'll be really interesting to see how this impacts Pose's growth trajectory going forward; it seems like something that could give the app a major boost in user growth and engagement.
More money will follow
Pose has raised some $4.6 million in venture capital from investors that include GRP Partners, True Ventures, Mousse Partners, and celebrity fashion designer and stylist Rachel Zoe. The company says that those investors are happy with its revenue-sharing strategy right now because they see the potential for Pose to make even more serious money down the line.
"We certainly believe in this grand vision of our company, where content meets commerce. We think of ourselves like a shopping funnel, and within that there are so many opportunities to make money at different points along the line," Pose’s co-founder and VP of creative and partnerships Alisa Gould-Simon told me. "Great content starts with our users, and we just want to be a platform to facilitate that. First and foremost, it's about building an audience."