Pinterest is launching its Shuffles collage app to the public
Pinterest’s new collage app Shuffles is now available to the public, after entering an invite-only testing phase earlier this summer. The app grew in popularity among Gen Z users, who used the creative expression tool to create “aesthetic” collages, sometimes set to music and posted on TikTok, or shared privately with friends or the Shuffles community. This resulted in Shuffles rising to become the #1 Lifestyle app on the US App Store in August.
The app’s popularity has since declined. While Pinterest’s flagship app remains the No. 1 Lifestyle app in the U.S. at this time, Shuffles has dropped to No. 228, according to data from Sensor Tower. Last month, Shuffles was downloaded 20,000 times, a big drop from the 211,000 iOS installs it saw in its first month on the App Store in July 2022.
In part, Shuffles’ adoption may be suffering because the app remained invite-only even as it gained traction through viral videos. To access the app, you must obtain an invitation code from an existing user or join a waiting list. This exclusivity created some demand among young people, but it is not a long-term strategy to create interest in a new product.
At some point, an app needs to launch and see if it can stand on its own. That is now the plan.
The app itself was built by Pinterest’s TwoTwenty team, whose goal is to foster more internal experimentation on the social network and increase the pace of innovation. This team was also behind the launch of Pinterest’s live shopping feature, Pinterest TV. However, Shuffles was the first standalone app to emerge from this group.
To use Shuffles, users build collages using Pinterest’s own photo library or by taking photos of objects they want to include with the iPhone camera. Pinterest also built a technology that allows users to cut out objects from their own photos, their Pinterest boards or by searching for new Pins. This works similarly to iOS 16’s image cutout feature, where you can copy and paste an object from an image into other apps. Shuffles makes this clipping process a little easier as it automatically identifies the object in the photos to make them available to paste into your collages. You can also choose to add effects and motion to your photos to make them shake, spin, pulsate, rotate and more. These effects can also be applied to individual elements. For example, you can add an image of a record player and then animate it so that it actually spins.
The photo collage can then be saved to your phone or shared with the Shuffles community, with friends or elsewhere on social media.
The app is linked to Pinterest, and not just as a source for images. The objects in the collages are linked back to Pinterest, allowing users to tap on items they like and then view them directly in Pinterest’s app, where they can even be purchased if they’re for sale on a retailer’s website.
Shuffles had initially caught fire as it targeted a younger demographic who often use social media for creative, self-expression, not just networking. By September 2020, Pinterest itself had captured the interest of this crowd when it became the go-to tool for creating custom iPhone home screens, after Apple launched the ability for users to add widgets in iOS 14. This led to an explosion of Home Screen design with widgets , custom icons and matching wallpapers.
Recently, a startup called Landing created a digital platform for creating vision boards, which has also gained traction with Gen Z users and may have inspired the idea for Shuffles.
With Shuffles’ public launch, Pinterest is now dropping the requirement to sign up for a waiting list or have an invite code to enter. However, the company says it still considers Shuffles in a “test phase”.
Only the iOS app will be available in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.