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Pinterest lets app developers build businesses off its data

Pinterest Inc is letting outside developers make money off the scrapbooking site.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Pinterest Inc is letting outside developers make money off the scrapbooking site.

Pinterest, where people can collect pictures of food they want to cook, places they want to travel or how they want to renovate their homes, has opened up that information to application builders.

Someone, for example, might create an app to order the materials for a do-it-yourself project or buy ingredients in a recipe, Josh Inkenbrandt, who runs Pinterest's developer- platform team, said in an interview Monday.

That means other companies may come up with revenue models for content on Pinterest, which in the last year started building an advertising business. The San Francisco-based company, which was valued at US$11 billion in a March fundraising, may want to acquire some of the more successful businesses that use its data, but the main goal is to drive traffic to the site, Inkenbrandt said.

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"The way that we look at it, and the value we see in it is, if you have applications that make Pinterest more useful to you, you would use Pinterest more," he said.

Developers starting Monday can submit their ideas for new businesses, the company said in a blog post. Pinterest isn't seeking to share revenue from the e-commerce ideas that are generated; developers get to keep all the money from what they build.

"There is obviously a trade-off with any platform," Inkenbrandt said.

Pinterest last week also began letting developers experiment with tools to make it easier for marketers and advertisers to reach potential customers on the site.