Pose, an online and mobile community where users go to swap photos and videos of their outfits, makeup and shopping finds, is perhaps most accurately described as "Instagram for fashion."
But Instagram is already highly treasured by the fashion community. At first blush, the social savvy fashion model Coco Rocha said she couldn't imagine the world needed such a thing. "Well it turns out, we do," she proclaimed. A year after signing up for the app, Rocha found she had developed two times the following on Pose (around 450,000 followers) compared to Instagram (approximately 250,000). "There's a huge audience of people interested in what others are wearing," she observed.
For fashion lovers, Pose has a few advantages over Instagram. It's easy to find fashion content, because that's all users are sharing. Many clothing items are also tagged so that users can track down, and in some cases directly purchase, individual goods. They can also save their favorite looks by dragging them and dropping them onto Pinterest-like "Collections" boards, say for "Eveningwear" or "Nail art." Additionally, Pose is available on a wider variety of platforms — it has apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, and works on both the web and Facebook.
Rocha is also a fan of the L.A.-based startup's business model. Since the beginning, the app has encouraged users to tag their outfits with brand names and prices. As of September, they have been able to link those items directly to retail websites where they can be purchased. If a follower makes a purchase through the app, the uploader will receive a small affiliate fee for that sale; Pose, too, will take a (smaller) fraction.
"The idea is a good business model for young fashionistas, and a new, legitimate way to monetize on social media," Rocha contends.
In an interview with Mashable last week, Pose founder and CEO Dustin Rosen declined to share sales figures to date, but said that bringing shopping to the forefront has changed the way people interact with the app and how much they engage with it. Users, who are now viewing 120 million images per month collectively, open the app to browse, save and shop looks. "We're letting [users] know where they can buy looks, where and at what prices, which has led to cross-the-board [engagement] increases," says Rosen. "We're like a fashion magazine but on a phone, a great way for women to spend five minutes on their commutes."
Pose is still exploring other monetization possibilities, namely advertising. "We are actively seeking opportunities for brands to reach our audience," says Rosen. "But we don't want to be in the business of selling tiny banners at the bottom of the apps. We want to be integrated in more innovative ways."
Rosen said he was "open" to opportunities to raise more funding this year — the company has raised more than $4.5 million in venture capital to date — as the company builds out more revenue products. Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and her husband, Rodger Berman, are the company's two highest profile investors.
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