Socialrithmic is already proving to be a curious story. Seattle-based and founded by ex-Microsoft Bing engineers, the social analytics startup upped roots for 13 weeks last September to take part in Ignite100, an accelerator program in the North of England, of all places. During that time the company has pivoted somewhat, moving away from its original focus on Facebook/Twitter to pin its hopes to Pinterest, which today sees the beta launch of Pinster, an analytics platform to help brands using Pinterest to better target their campaigns. Yes, that’s right, just when the space couldn’t get any more crowded, another startup has thrown its hat into the Pinterest analytics ring.
But it’s easy to see why. Not only is Pinterest seeing explosive growth but along the way it’s morphed into a potential e-commerce giant, as users and brands pin their shopping aspirations to the virtual pin board. However, despite the site’s recent efforts (and change of heart), which has seen it embrace companies that want to have an official presence on the service, Pinterest doesn’t currently offer an API for third-party developers. That’s created both a problem for brands wanting to track usage of the service, and an opportunity for creative startups who can work around this limitation — which brings us back to Socialrithmic’s latest offering.
Specifically, Pinster aims to make it easier for businesses to exploit the enormous potential of Pinterest by providing a dashboard with analytics on pin interactions and website visits referred from Pinterest, along with custom recommendations on how to pin smarter in terms of timing, and automation tools to help users do just that.
Of course, there are already a number of other startups in this space (Pintics, HelloInsights, Pinfluencer, Pinalytics, etc.), some of which differ from Pinster as they focus more on identifying the top Pinterest influencers (similar to Klout), while others do offer automatic and optimised pinning to help brands increase their ROI. But without an official API, however crowded it is already, it does seem like early days in terms of what could be possible, if and when Pinterest does decide to open up.
To that end, following completion of the mentor-led Ignite100 accelerator program, Socialrithmic decided it would be better (for now) to focus “on one thing and do it well, than try and be all things to all people.” And that one thing is Pinterest analytics, a platform that the company notes is “excellent for conversion rates due to the demographic ‘sweet spot’ the website currently occupies” — that highly sought-after demographic being college-educated females between the ages of 25 and 44, apparently.
Socialrithmic has some decent engineering pedigree, too. Both co-founders are alumni of Microsoft. Peter Chang was previously product manager with the Microsoft Bing R&D team. Likewise, Aamer Abbas worked in the Microsoft Bing engineering/data mining team (along with being one of the first employees at email marketing software provider Bronto Software).