Pinterest acquires local recommendation app Livestar

Pinterest announced Wednesday that it has acquired local recommendation app Livestar, adding the company’s engineering talent to the quickly growing social content site. While this might seem like a slightly odd fit (a photo-sharing site acquiring a Yelp-like service?), Livestar’s founder was an early investor in Pinterest, and Pinterest is likely looking to add talented engineers in the realm of mobile and social as it grows.
In an emailed statement, Pinterest explained why it sees the Livestar team as a good fit for joining the company:

“We are happy to announce that we have agreed to acquire a startup called Livestar and will be bringing their talented engineering team onboard.  Livestar is an app that helps people find local recommendations from their friends and others. We think the Livestar team is a natural fit for Pinterest because of their commitment to inspiring people to do things in their everyday lives through social and expert recommendations.
The Livestar engineering team will be joining Pinterest in the coming weeks. CEO and founder Fritz Lanman will not be joining the team, but he will continue to advise Pinterest. An active angel investor in startups including Pinterest, Fritz will continue to invest and advise startups and will be undertaking a new, yet to be announced project.”

Livestar will be closing down, less than a year after launching in June 2012, when we wrote about the company’s vision and explained the rationale behind Lanman’s approach:

“The result of Lanman’s work is Livestar, a new iPhone app (Android coming soon) that makes it easy to find the two kinds of recommendations that matter most to many users: friend suggestions and professional reviews. The app serves as a sort of search engine, Q&A platform and review aggregator, combining elements of Yelp, Google, Quora, Metacritic and Facebook. But while many of those services started on the desktop web, Livestar is built from the ground up to be mobile only.”

Just this week Pinterest announced the wider launch of its new redesign, which includes larger photos and a smaller activity feed. Pinterest also recently released a web analytics tool for brands, just after announcing a new $200 million funding round.