Yahoo-owned Polyvore last week announced on social media that the site had been purchased by Montreal-based high-end retailer SSENSE. Polyvore cheerily announced the news on Instagram last week (April 5, 2018) with a collage that read “Polyvore hearts you” (appropriately using a black heart), adding that users would have until May 10th to request a download of their content at account-update.polyvore.com.
If you’re unfamiliar with the world of Polyvor, the site was founded in 2006 and was best known for its mood-board function enabling users to create collages called sets, which other users could share, like and comment on. Boasting millions of monthly visits and a popular app, the site made its money through affiliate links and sponsorships. The incomes was attractive enough that Yahoo swooped in and is alleged to have ponied up $230 million to purchase the company in 2015.
Unlike Yahoo, however, SSENSE was never interested in anything other than Polyvore’s traffic. Right now if you type in polyvore.com, you end up on ssense.com’s front page.
Naturally, there were lots of active Polyvore users who were upset to see their beloved platform disappear into the ether. And at the same time, there have been a lot of complaints about content downloads that are missing information.
Reflecting a common lament, one user wrote on Polygram’s Instagram page, “I just downloaded my data, so disappointing, nothing in my folder except a couple of sets. The product collections I so painstakingly had been creating for years, are nothing but a useless spreadsheet list of the collection name. So disappointed, actually distraught.”
Upsetting thousands of deeply passionate style lovers globally was no doubt the opposite of what SSENSE hoped to achieve when it purchased the site, and yesterday (April 11th), the site apologized to Polyvore users with a statement on social media.
The statement reads: “We deeply regret the distress our actions have caused the Polyvore community over the past few days. While it was not our decision to close down Polyvore, we handled things badly. Rest assured, we have not currently received any of your user data previously entrusted to Polyvore. All users have been offered the option to opt out of any data transfer before May 15, 2018. Following this date, should you choose not to opt out we will only receive your Polyvore user name, email address and email preferences.
“Unfortunately we do not have the ability to bring the website or its functionalities back. We regret that some of you have experienced technical difficulties downloading your content. The parent company of Polyvore is responsible for managing the content and data transfers, and we are working with them to make it easier for you to retrieve your content. We respect the privacy of our users and endeavors to be transparent about our privacy practices at all times.”
“We acknowledge the passion and creativity of the Polyvore community and we’re sincerely sorry.”
The selling off of Polyvore’s url reflects the risk of investing time and energy in a platform or app that doesn’t belong to the creator and rather is the property of a profit-minded corporation. That said, if you’re simply looking to feed your craving for set building, reddit.com has some suggestions.
Check out SSENSE’s statement below.
— SSENSE (@SSENSE) April 10, 2018