(The Root) — Oh, how people just absolutely love Pinterest! The content-sharing service has exploded in popularity to the tune of a $1.5 billion valuation in May. The only problem is that if you see something you like and it’s not on the actual retailers’ pinboard, you can’t actually buy it.
Fancy, a website and mobile app for iPad, iPhone and Android devices, is a hot alternative for users who want to catalog things they love and shop for them at the same time. Users sign up via their Facebook, Twitter or email account and browse various categories, from men’s products to workplace items, just as they would using Pinterest.
By clicking on an icon that’s shaped like an ice cream pop, you can “Fancy” items you, well … fancy, adding them to your organized lists of other, similar objects. However, if you click on an item’s image, a link opens that allows you to add the item to your shopping cart for purchase. Or you can opt to share the product via email with friends, find similarly colored items or check a box that lets your Fancy friends know that you already own it.
Fancy’s interface, though, is nowhere near as slick as Pinterest’s. Items are organized in a single-column format, as opposed to Pinterest’s inviting, multicolumn design. Also, if you’re uploading something to Fancy from your computer, you have to enter the purchasing information yourself.
Still, the ability to just “click and buy” is a big selling point for Fancy (at least until Pinterest adds its own e-commerce feature), as are a slew of celebrity kudos. Last week Oscar de la Renta wound up selling five of its baseball-T-shirt-inspired green-and-white sequined silk sweaters, which retail for $2,400 a pop. Kanye West, Diddy and Ashton Kutcher have also either invested in or endorsed the site. With some tweaks, Fancy could provide some stiff competition for Pinterest, but it may be an uphill climb.
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