Favery Launches Pinterest-Style Platform to Help Shoppers Poll Their Friends

Pinterest has helped millions of people create pinboards around design, food, and any other topic, and its visual layout has been replicated by other startups, from music-focused tools like Sworly to fashion-specific platforms like Wantering. Now Portland, OR-based Favery is applying the Pinterest model to polling and advice, letting people create visual inspiration boards and giving the ability to ask for feedback from their friends.

CEO Anne Nichols formerly ran a women’s accessories line, and managed large ecommerce businesses. She said she came up with the idea while working on a bathroom remodel – she was trying to choose between tiles, and was emailing and texting friends to get feedback, and wanted a better way to get their input. She said Favery looks to capitalize on the social curation and “friendsourcing” trend, helping people collect images and then ask for feedback from people they know and trust. And while it might be similar to Pinterest in terms of layout, Nichols said it tries to go beyond just liking an image to get help deciding between products or ideas.

“Favery helps users make style decisions, and know the visual bulletin board is an incredibly popular format,” Nichols said in an interview. “With Favery though instead of saying ‘I think this bridesmaid dress is pretty,’ they’re able to take those ideas and inspiration full circle and say ‘which one of these is prettier?’”

The platform aims to go beyond Pinterest’s pinboards by letting users discuss options, vote, and give advice. Users start by picking topics they’re interested in, from crafts to food to fashion. Similar to Pinterest, they can then create inspiration boards around any topic, and save items around the web to their board with a FaveIt bookmarklet. Users can make boards public or private, and email them to friends who aren’t members.

Where Favery differs is its polls feature, which lets users attach a question to their boards. For example users could select up to eight images from a board of dresses, and then ask “Which dress should I buy?” Other users can then vote on those options, and board owners can also invite their friends to weigh in.

“With Favery, the ability to create a customized poll or a vote and ask that question, and get feedback from your friends or the larger community, was the aha [moment],” Nichols said.

Favery launched its private beta in August, and today’s launch opens it up to anyone, though Nichols said the target market is anyone going through milestone events, like getting married, buying a house, or starting a family. The company is backed by angel investors, with support from Upstart Labs.

Right now the platform is free, and while users can link to where to buy products, they don’t take affiliate fees or commissions on purchases. Nichols said they have several planned revenue streams focused on helping people find things and shop for them, but couldn’t disclose the details of what they might be. With Pinterest struggling to monetize its platform as well, it will be interesting to see which route they take.

While Favery has polling options that Pinterest doesn’t, otherwise it provides a similar platform for users looking to collect and share their inspiration in a visual way. Giving users an option to import their Pinboards might be a good way to kickstart usage and to show people why they need both, instead of making them choose between the two. Because while Pinterest doesn’t have polls, it has a much larger user base, and consequently a bigger base of images and inspiration for potential users.

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.

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