Users can now browse and create collages, or "sets," of clothing and furniture on Apple's touchscreen device. Those sets are often shared among users or embedded on blogs to showcase ideas for styling an outfit or a room. (Personally, I used it privately to style my fall wardrobe. It was useful for figuring out what was missing, like black ankle boots and a camel-colored bag.)
CEO Jess Lee says Polyvore was "born to be on the touchscreen," and indeed the app seems much more suited for the device than the desktop. It's both easier and more enjoyable to drag, resize and rotate products using one's fingers than a mouse. A few features are missing from the iPad version however, like the ability to manually crop the background of an item; though that will come later, Lee says.
Polyvore claims to attract more than 20 million people to its website and iPhone app per month, about 5% of whom create sets for the site. The company supports its business through affiliate and ad revenue. Interestingly, Polyvore got rid of all of its display ads in the first half of the year and replaced them with native units, like sponsored products and sets. Advertisers can also promote their own sets or a set created independently by a user, ensuring prominent placement across Polyvore's site.
Impressively--particularly for a startup in the social media space--Polyvore has been profitable since 2011. Even seven-year-old Twitter can't yet claim that.