A petition to revive Polyvore, the social shopping site that allowed users to create moodboards or “sets” of their favourite fashion items to share with their followings, was well on its way to achieving its goal of 5,000 signatures at the time of writing (6 April).
The Change.org petition was set up by Polyvore user Lauren Coates who, along with thousands of other users, have been left angered by the site’s acquisition and closure by luxury etailer Ssense yesterday.
Users of the decade-old platform were given no notice of the site’s impending closure and Ssense has not commented beyond a brief press release offering a link for users to follow to extract their sets. Some users have complained that this process only allows them to download their images while the links on those images are associated with Polyvore which is no longer accessible.
So, I just dowloaded my "content file", and the pictures of all my sets are available, but everything else is on Excel files. The Excel files only have Polyvore links to the items, which are not accessible OBVIOUSLY. #polyvore
— Binch Biskoot (@Nowshyypoo) April 5, 2018
In her petition Coates says: “Polyvore, which was a site known for it’s digital board function, was home to countless groups, users, and accounts which didn’t just use it for fashion (though that was the primary focus) but for writing, connecting with friends or likeminded people, and just expressing themselves in general.
“Without even a word of warning, this website, community, and family was destroyed, sold out to the company SSense and adopting the name – losing all groups, its set making function, and basically morphing into a ‘luxury retailer’ without consulting its member base.”
Montreal-based Ssense acquired the social-commerce website from Oath Inc. a subsidiary of Verizon Communications and the Polyvore URL now redirects to the Ssense homepage, where brands such as Prada, Gucci and Balenciaga are sold along with more accessible, but still premium labels, such as Acne and Frame Denim.
Polyvore was founded in California in 2007 and allowed its mostly fashion-obsessed users to create and share inspirational moodboards or “sets” with their communities, along with links to where to buy the items featured. By 2012 the company claimed to be attracting 20m unique users a month and it was bought by Yahoo! in 2015, when it was believed its popularity had begun to diminish. Verizon went on to acquire Yahoo! and AOL and rebranded them as Oath.