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Pinterest to Set Conservative Price Range in Initial Offering of Shares

The platform allows people to search for and “pin” images that interest them, whether it’s fashion, sports, pets or travel

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FILE - Pinterest co-founder and chief product officer, poses for a photo beside a wall of pegs symbolizing the company logo at Pinterest headquarters in San Francisco, Oct. 11, 2018. VOA

Pinterest, among the gaggle of tech companies hoping to go public this year, set a conservative price range Monday for its initial public offering. It hopes to raise as much as $1.5 billion in its initial offering of shares.

The digital scrapbooking site said in a regulatory filing that it will put about 75 million shares up for sale at a price between $15 and $17 each.

That, at the higher end, could put the value of the company at around $9 billion. But it falls below the estimated $12 billion value from earlier sales of shares to private investors, according to reports two years ago.

Companies set their price range for an initial public offering with a tricky calculus set by investment banks and underwriters. They don’t want to set the bar too low, but going too high can lead to a sell-off.

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Pinterest has long shunned the label of being a social network. It doesn’t push users to add friends or build connections. Pixabay

And those tech companies still planning to go public this year may be treading more carefully following the debut of Lyft 11 days ago. After a much ballyhooed debut , the stock slumped for two days. While its shares bounced back from their lows last week, they remain far below the heights reached in the flurry of first-day trading, and they fell 3% Monday, again dipping under the initial offering price.

The Lyft drop was a “major gut check time for Lyft and the tech IPO world to see how this stock trades given it was the first one out of the box,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives after Lyft shares tumbled.

Other tech companies pushing to go public this year include Uber, Lyft’s rival, the messaging app Slack and the video conferencing company Zoom are expected to make their debut soon.

Pinterest claims more than 250 million active monthly users and more than 2 billion monthly searches. The platform allows people to search for and “pin” images that interest them, whether it’s fashion, sports, pets or travel.

 

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The San Francisco company had revenue of $756 million last year, a 60% bump from 2017. It had a loss of $63 million in 2018, compared with a loss of $130 million in 2017. Pixabay

Pinterest has long shunned the label of being a social network. It doesn’t push users to add friends or build connections. That means it’s avoided the privacy tangles that have ensnared companies like Facebook. Pinterest makes advertising revenue when businesses promote pins in users’ feeds.

The San Francisco company had revenue of $756 million last year, a 60% bump from 2017. It had a loss of $63 million in 2018, compared with a loss of $130 million in 2017. Pinterest was founded in 2010 by Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp, who are the company’s CEO and chief product officer, respectively.

ALSO READ: Solar Installation in Massachusetts to Fight Climate Change

The company has been working on developing its artificial intelligence search, which allows people to take a photo or upload a screenshot of an item and find similar products on Pinterest.

Pinterest’s stock will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the “PINS” ticker symbol. (VOA)

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Pinterest to Combat Misinformation about Vaccines by Showing Only Information from Health Organizations

Pinterest previously tried blocking all searches for vaccines, with mixed results

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Pinterest, Misinformation. Vaccines
Pinterest's logo. VOA

Pinterest said it would try to combat misinformation about vaccines by showing only information from health organizations when people search.

Social media sites have been trying to combat the spread of misinformation about vaccines. Pinterest previously tried blocking all searches for vaccines, with mixed results.

Now searches for “measles,” “vaccine safety” and related terms will bring up results from such groups as the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO-established Vaccine Safety Net.

Pinterest won’t show ads or other users’ posts, as they may contain misinformation.

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Pinterest said it would try to combat misinformation about vaccines by showing only information from health organizations when people search. Pixabay

“We’re taking this approach because we believe that showing vaccine misinformation alongside resources from public health experts isn’t responsible,” Pinterest said Wednesday in a blog post.

Though anti-vaccine sentiments have been around for as long as vaccines have existed, health experts worry that anti-vaccine propaganda can spread more quickly on social media. The misinformation includes soundly debunked notions that vaccines cause autism or that mercury preservatives and other substances in them can harm people.

Experts say the spread of such information can push parents who are worried about vaccines toward refusing to inoculate their children, leading to a comeback of various diseases.

Spike in measles cases

Also Read- WHO Warns of Serious Consequences of Measles Infections Globally

Measles outbreaks have spiked in the U.S. this year to their highest number in more than 25 years.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed people “listening to that superstitious mumbo jumbo on the internet” for a rising incidence of measles in that country. The government plans to call a summit of social media companies to discuss what more they can do to fight online misinformation, though details are still being worked out.

Facebook said in March that it would no longer recommend groups and pages that spread hoaxes about vaccines and that it would reject ads that do this. But anti-vax information still slips through.

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Social media sites have been trying to combat the spread of misinformation about vaccines. Pixabay

The WHO praised Pinterest’s move and encouraged other social media companies to follow.

Also Read- India’s Move to Ban e-cigarettes Flawed, Say Cancer Experts

“Misinformation about vaccination has spread far and fast on social media platforms in many different countries,” the statement said. “We see this as a critical issue and one that needs our collective effort to protect people’s health and lives.” (VOA)