Style community Polyvore released its second standalone mobile application today with the debut of Remix, an app aimed at the larger community of style enthusiasts who generally use the service not to create outfits for themselves, but to browse those created by others for inspiration. With Remix, Polyvore users can check in on what’s trending on the site, get styling advice and buy any item they find, right from the app.
There’s an old Internet rule that states that only a small portion of those involved in an online community will actively create new content, while most of the population just lurks. The same holds true for Polyvore, whose flagship application allows its users to build outfits from their mobile phone.
According to Polyvore COO Arnie Gullov-Singh, of Polyvore’s 20 million monthly active users, the group who uses the service to actually pair clothing items, shoes and accessories together to build their own outfits is still very small. Only about 5% of the total user base are “creators,” he says, which is similar to any online community based on user-generated content.
Remix, instead, is hoping to attract a larger audience by appealing to those who like to more passively participate.
“Our mission is to empower people to feel really good about their style, but what we’ve found is that the hardest part is getting people to actually putting an outfit together,” explains Polyvore Senior Product Manager Anna Iskikian. “Our Polyvore community members have created over 150 million ‘shoppable’ outfits over the years – and that’s a lot of data for us as to what items really go well together.”
That data now helps to power the outfits, and the “remixes” of those outfits, in the new app.
Remix at launch has a simple interface with just three sections: Trending, Find and My Faves.
The trending section is the main landing page for the app and features a regularly updated list of what’s popular on the Polyvore site at the moment, based on things like what its users have been searching for, what they’re clicking, what they’re liking and more. This is the same data that feeds into Polyvore’s “style graph,” which is focused on understanding users’ personal tastes when it comes to fashion items.
The middle section, “Find,” is a shopping search engine where you can enter in products you wish to see styled, or drill down into items by category, like dresses, tops, bags, shoes, jewelry, and more. A filtering option also lets you narrow down the selection by price, brand, store, color and other factors, including whether or not the item is on sale. One big miss, however, is the ability to filter the list by size, but the company tells me that is something they already have in the works for a future release.
Finally, the “My Faves” section in the app is the collection of the items you’ve been saving both on mobile or on the desktop web version of Polyvore.
But what makes the app fun is the “remix” feature. That is, when you’re viewing an outfit, you can tap a button to see your selected item styled in a whole new way. Alternately, you can tap on any other item in that same outfit to do the same. And, if you like the overall look but want to swap out just one part – like the top or the shoes – a carousel beneath the outfit lets you see images of other options. This part of using Remix is addictive and fun – and it could help turn Polyvore’s typically less engaged users into more active participants.
As of today, the Remix app features some 4 million to 5 million “shoppable” products, the company says, which is how many are typically in stock on any given day when using Polyvore via the web. But initially, the company isn’t planning to generate revenue off the sales it encourages through Remix. Instead, Polyvore is focused only on perfecting the user experience – which is also why the app at launch is in an “invite only” mode. Select Polyvore users will be allowed to test this, ahead of a broader launch.
The first 100 TechCrunch readers can get in using the invite code 032981, however.
Eventually, the company may choose to monetize the app through its ad business, which has yet to make its way to its native mobile applications. Today, only the desktop web and mobile web versions of Polyvore are generating revenue, through the company’s cost per click program that operates similarly to Google Shopping. There are around 300 advertisers currently participating, and they’re also interested in having their ads shown in these native mobile apps, notes Gullov-Singh.
Remix is a free download on iTunes.