SSense bought out polyvore? Are you kidding me? Polyvore sold out to SSense? And now what? Polyvore SSense… What the?
I haven’t used Polyvore in a long time, but I did use it rather extensively to create sets for this and other blogs once upon a time. Today I was checking some stats on here and came across a link to a post in which I had used some polyvore sets. I clicked the link and found that it was taking me to the SSENSE website. I didn’t think anything about it, because I figured it was just a product link that was taking me directly to Ssense. I really wanted to see the skirt that the post was talking about, so I clicked on the link to a Polyvore set that I had referenced in the post. That also too me to SSENSE. I figured maybe there was some sort of glitch or problem going on at Polyvore, so I went directly to Polyvore.com and what should I discover? POLYVORE IS NOW SSENSE. Say what? Polyvore SSense is er eh huh s’wha? Yeah that’s the point. What?
Starting April 5, 2018, the Polyvore website will discontinue operations and the Polyvoreapps will no longer be supported. All of your content will be available so you can download your brilliant, inspired creations—to do so, please go to account-update.polyvore.com by May 10, 2018 and follow the instructions to request a download of your content. You will have until May 15, 2018 to retrieve that download of your content. (From the Official Blog of Polyvore’s April 5 2018 blog post)
Buyouts happen all the time in this business, but this buyout seems a little insane to me. I could see if SSense bought Polyvore but nothing changed in the foreground. Same website but owned by SSense. But from what I can see, all that happens when you go to Polyvore.com is that you are redirected to ssense.com to shop. Seriously? Because I’m willing to bet that 99 percent of the people who were going to Polyvore every day have never bought a single item via SSense.com. They weren’t going to Polyvore to spend money. They were going to Polyvore to have a little digital fun with fashion without having to spend money. Some of them were going there trying to make money by collaborating with other Polyvore users like myself. I used to pay some of Polyvore’s more popular set creators to make sets for me to use on my fashion related blogs. Polyvore was kind of a business resource for a lot of people. And for many others, it was a tool they could use just for the fun of putting outfit ideas together. It was a way for people of a wide range of ages to have a little digital fun–to pass time during their day and nights.
I remember when I first discovered Polyvore. It was kind of like it’s own little social media website. You made your sets and people liked them. People followed you, commented on your sets, invited you to their groups. For me, personally, that aspect was never important. I was using it as a tool to create sets that I could use in blog posts. And I also used it as a promotional tool by collaborating with popular members. It never really paid off for me. But I enjoyed using it nonetheless. I always thought my sets were nicer than the number of likes they ever received. And maybe if more people had liked my sets and followed me I would still be actively using Polyvore today. Oh, wait, I wouldn’t still be using Polyvore today because, apparently, there is no Polyvore. Polyvore is now SSense. Polyvore Ssense–yeah, now when you go to Polyvore you will be offered the option to shop men’s clothing or shop women’s clothing.
And the amount of sense it makes that Polyvore is now ssense is about zero. Thousands of websites around the internet now have missing images where they had embedded polyvore sets. Their links to Polyvore are redirecting to SSense.com. Probably people paid money for collaborations that weren’t even completed yet. Anyone who doesn’t yet know and doesn’t find out before May 10 2018 will lose years of art. Because essentially, every set you create is an artwork. It might be nothing but a piece of crap to everybody else, but it’s an image that you created at whatever moment in time that you made the set. Years down the road you might look back at it and smile to remember a time when. Who knows. These days life is such crap, anything that can make you smile is a thing to treasure. And simply, you want to always be able to go back and look at your creation if you so desire.
But if you don’t get your stuff downloaded by May 10 2018, that’s it. You won’t be able to see your sets again. Although I will be downloading my sets, it’s not really that big a deal to be if I lose them, except in the case where they might be creating broken links on my website. I have no idea if the download would be in a format that I could access the images for the purpose of rectifying broken image issues that this insane development has caused.
How in the world do you just get up and sell out on the people who made it possible for you to be in the position to be “acquired” in the first place? Without the people who used your platform all these years to pass time, you would have long been defunct. These people made it possible for you to grow and grow and grow, and just as soon as you’re big enough to lure offers of big dollars, you sell out? You take away the playground? Just wow.
I mean, look, I’m sure there was an offer made that they simply could not refuse. I’ve been in this business a while. I’ve sold a lot of websites. I’ve never created anything so big that it lured life changing offers. I’ve had to sell my websites to pay bills and sometimes I’ve had to settle for as little as $150. Desperate times force you to sell out sometimes. But I cannot imagine the Polyvore folks were desperate in the way I have so often been desperate. So I have to conclude that the offer was just too much for them to refuse. Because they probably were never going to be acquired by Google for a billion dollars. So why hold out? Any of us in the same position might make the same choice; but at the end of the day, there would be no Polyvore without the people who were using the site every day. And what do they get out of the deal? Discount offers on overpriced items? The ability to buy a $3000 bag for $2500 instead?
Note: On further research, Polyvore was owned by Yahoo. They had acquired it back in 2015 for $200 million. So Polyvore has been changing hands a bit it seems and I guess it just wasn’t proving profitable for Yahoo? Couldn’t find any information about the purchase price for the acquisition by SSense. It would be interesting to find out just how much did Ssense spend to acquire Polyvore?
Like I said, I’m willing to bet most of the people who were using Polyvore were using it because it was a fun tool. It was a way to pass time creating. It wasn’t really about shopping. It was about stuff like this set below that the Polyvore folks used in their farewell letter to their “polyvore fam”
In their farewell letter, the folks at Polyvore write:
Today we’re sharing with our global Polyfam the latest step on our journey: SSENSE, a pioneering international fashion platform known for its exclusive original content and curated selection of fashion and luxury brands, has acquired Polyvore. SSENSE will welcome our Polyvore community into their platform starting today. While this is bittersweet news, we’re excited for our community’s future within SSENSE!
Who even knows what that means. Are there great things in store for the community? Is Ssense building an even better platform for people to make sets, collaborate, share, like follow, comment, make friends in fashion? I don’t have a clue what the end game is here. The Polyvore folks claim that they “believe that SSENSE is the right community for the Polyvore members”, and they are “inspired by their commitment to offering a directional mix of the most coveted labels in the world”. What does that have to do with playing in a digital closet? I guess only time will tell what’ to come from this Polyvore Ssense transition.
And on top of having the playground taken away, your information is going to be turned over to Ssense unless you opt out:
Unless you choose to opt out, we will share your username, email address and other Polyvore data with SSENSE so that they can contact you with information about SSENSE. If you would prefer that we do not share your Polyvore data with SSENSE, you can opt out of this sharing by May 15, 2018 by visiting account-update.polyvore.com. You can also create an account at SSENSE.com to start creating a wishlist and subscribe to their newsletters right away. (From the Official Blog of Polyvore’s April 5 2018 blog post)
I have gone ahead and requested to download my sets and opt out of the data sharing with SSense. But I had so many different accounts over there for various blogs. I definitely don’t have the inclination to log in to all the accounts to perform the opt-out and the download request. I guess this is the nature of all things digital. Maybe one day even Facebook, twitter and Instagram will disappear. But hopefully they won’t be able to do it with complete disregard for their users.