Death of an Era: Polyvore & Ssense

        Websites come and websites go. Whether that's because of falling out of trend, falling out of favor due to corruption, competitors becoming more lucrative in views and/or money making value, and the worst of all; sudden buyouts.
'Community-powered social commerce website'
Before the identity crisis
          Some of you might've heard about Polyvore in your travels across the internet, especially if you've ventured into Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram. Polyvore was a fashion website built so that you could create moodboards and collections with the latest fashion items (high fashion brands being a big 'selling' point). Though the website was not strictly based on fashion, as many used it for their various needs (including RolePlaying blogs and forums, various writing groups, for collages, actual moodboards, etc.).

         I had been using Polyvore as a creative outlet to 1) put my ideas into a visual form to help me create or grow my character(s) so that I could flesh them out, 2) to explore my sense of fashion without growing broke (lol like I could actually afford Gucci and the likes, keep dreamin' Carly), and 3) relax after a stressful day at school, doctor offices, or just a horrible day. As a pre-teen to young adult, this was an incredible free tool to use that helped me connect to my work and to myself as well as discover other writers and fashion interested people. Over the 6-7 years that I participated in Polyvore I only ever 'shopped' (cute high waist shorts from Romwe for Christmas) on the site once. Yes, you read that right. Once. As in one. 1. Un. Uno. The number after zero.
        As far as I can tell, most of their user base used the website like this as well. They used the website for creating collage boards and collections to show to friends and use as a creative outlet while 'shopping' on the rarest occasions if they even did that! Polyvore was never a shopping outlet though it did link to shopping/brand websites and keep track of varying prices and sales.
         So one has to ask then, why a Canadian company would look at Polyvore and it's userbase and think, "Ah, pre-teens and young adults, the perfect demographic to sell high retail fashion to. They sure have that extra cash-money laying around to spend on luxury goods, especially in this economy. Excellent business move!" 
After identity crisis.
          To say I'm bitter would be an understatement. Polyvore to me was a way to express myself on a different degree than what my writing could ever capture. It helped me produce work when I got hung up on an idea or concept and needed a visual aid. It helped me find others who had amazing ideas in their writing and fashion. It helped me connect with others. On April 5, 2018, that was taken away without so much as a warning. Currently (as of April 6, 2018) Polyvore and Ssense are trying to 'rectify' the sudden change by allowing users to request a download of your content (What this all entails, I don't know, but I will update this article when I find out more) and opting in or out of allowing Ssense to use your information so that they can update you on the new website.
         To me, this seems like the perfect way to create your own boycott. Now I'm not one to call for a boycott of a website just because they pissed me off. However, I will say that there's already a petition to bring the site back. (Y'all work fast). I'm sure Ssense will be a good shopping outlet, but that's not what Polyvore was to its community. And it was a community. Polyvore advertised itself this way. Ssense is just a shopping outlet. It's like Walmart trying to brand itself as the next Tinder or Grindr. It doesn't really work. 
        Though I'm sure many happy couples (like Leida and Chrissy) have met at Walmart, that isn't their goal. They're there to sell you reasonably priced goods, not a relationship. (Also go read the article about those two, it's actually kinda cute❤. Then again I'm a sucker for love stories😍😍)
         I don't know why Polyvore and Ssense couldn't just run a campaign together as Polyvore had done in that past with other brands and websites. To me, that's a better business model for both businesses. However, I wasn't there when the money went down. Maybe selling out the company, name, and website to Ssense gave the creators and employees boat fulls' of money that could send them to the moon and back five times over. 
        All that I do know is that I lost one of my favorite outlets to create, unwind, and unstress. Not to mention all the work I did end up loosing that I was using for current WIPs. (I'm trying not to think about it too much and have all appendages crossed that Polyvore comes through one last time and gives back all that work.) It will be hard to find another website that takes the giant hole that Polyvore left behind and all the features and work that they and their creators had accumulated over its tenure.
         So I just got my data back from Polyvore and... Sigh. You get a zipped folder looking like this once unzipped.
         The sets folder are your sets in picture form (same goes for templates and uploads) while the rest of the files are Excel spreadsheets. I'm happy I got my sets back but  I was really hoping to get the collections as well. Those were the ones I was able to piece together places, characters, and ideas. Instead, they give you a list of all your collections and their link. However, when you put the link into your browser, thanks to the buyout, the link no longer works, hence you lost all your work. Oh Polyvore, I hope those boat fulls of moon money was worth screwing over your base.

         For those of you that are looking for an alternative, there is Shoplook and Canva. Shoplook is more like Polyvore in the fashion moodboards whereas Canva is just moodboards (along with many, many other features that aren't necessarily like Polyvore but are still helpful for other ventures).

Because I'm a pathetic and petty loser I made an *emotional* rant video!

Until Next Time (or whenever a favorite website of mine decides to become sellouts),


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