Pinterest may be known for inspiring shopping and design ideas, but the company’s latest product wants to inspire its users to tap into their creativity. The company has quietly launched a new iOS app called Shuffles to put together collages using photos, clips, and other animated effects. The app is currently in invite-only status with the ability to join the queue from its home screen.
According to Shuffles’ description in the App Store, users can create their own collages using Pinterest’s photo library or take pictures of the objects they want to include using the camera. They can also crop individual objects from within an image with a tap — a feature that calls out the clever ability to crop images in iOS 16. Images in Shuffles can then be rotated, layered, and resized on the screen to create the collage, and animations and effects can optionally be added. The finished project can be shared with friends for collaboration or posted to public groups where others can “remix” the original creation in their own way.
The description of the app indicates that it can be used to visualize a room change, fashion ideas, mood boards and more.
While the company hasn’t officially announced its plans around Shuffles, a Pinterest spokesperson confirmed that the app is launching from a new in-house incubator, TwoTwenty.
“Shuffles is a standalone app created by TwoTwenty, the innovative Pinterest incubator team. An engaging way to create, publish and share visual content,” said Shuffles spokesperson. “As more people come to our platform for creative inspiration, we are constantly experimenting with new ways to help Pinners and Creators bring their creativity to life. vitality to their ideas.”
“Because this app is in its initial beta phase, we don’t have any additional details to share in the registry at this time,” they added, declining to share more about its future plans or monetization potential.
Launched last November and named after the first Pinterest desk, TwoTwenty’s goal was to promote more internal experiences on the social network and increase the pace of innovation. Other tech giants, including Meta, Microsoft and Google, have similar efforts with their own incubators — NPE, Microsoft Garage, and Area 120, respectively.
In the case of Pinterest, the company has been making a transition from its past as a pin image and bookmarking site that helps drive e-commerce transactions to adapt to today’s creator-driven era where consumers are required to make purchases through video content. To meet consumers’ demand for video, Pinterest has released the TikTok-like Idea Pins and direct shopping feature, Pinterest TV. The latter was also launched by the TwoTwenty team, in fact.
But TwoTwenty isn’t just aimed at the video experience. The organization made up of engineers, designers, and other product experts aims to research, prototype, and test a variety of new ideas to see if there’s any impact. Those that do will be handed over to other teams within the company for scaling.
Shuffles early stage project is just one of those ideas.
The funny thing is that the new Pinterest app is similar to the mobile maker Meta that was launched two years ago by its own in-house incubator, Team NPE. Known as E.gg, a Zen maker of sorts developed a small group of followers who enjoyed creating mixed media collages that combined images, text, and GIFs. But like nearly all of Meta’s NPE projects, E.gg is closed. Shuffles of Pinterest may be looking to tap into the same consumer demand for image-led creativity and inspiration that Meta has abandoned.
The app also arrives at a time when there is hidden resistance to the idea that video should be the only form of social expression and creativity in social media, as all the tech giants are trying to transform themselves into TikTok. Last month, user backlash against Instagram for deprioritizing friends’ content and photos came after Kardashian begged the app to stop trying to be TikTok. Instagram has rolled back some recent changes as a result, but it’s still based on the future of video first.
Possibly, to some extent, Pinterest will understand that its video hub may not be able to capture users’ attention indefinitely in the face of the TikTok threat. Finding another area to grow through experimentation can give her new avenues to explore.
Financially, the company’s fourth-quarter earnings proved solid from a numbers standpoint, but failed to grow users. The number of monthly active users decreased by 9% year over year to 433 million users.
The company is scheduled to announce its second-quarter earnings after the market closes today. Notably, this will be the first dividend since new CEO Bill Reddy took over from co-founder Ben Silberman, who moved to CEO on June 29, 2022.