Merchants often overlook Pinterest, the self-described “visual discovery engine” with 460 million monthly visitors — 94.6 million in the U.S., per Comscore. Pinterest users skew heavily female, Gen Z (ages teens to 20s), and Millennial (20s to 30s).
Users typically access the platform while planning a project or event. They’re seeking inspiration. They pin content from outside the app with very little created on the platform itself — until now.
Pinterest’s new Shuffles app allows users to create and share collages — digital mood boards. Launched in 2022, the app surged in popularity when users began setting their creations to music on TikTok. Shuffles is now available in 15 countries, including the U.S., but only on iOS devices. An Android app is reportedly in development. Even so, TechCrunch reports 607,000 installs to date.
Each image in Shuffles can link to a source — a direct route to buy — similar to Pinterest generally. Shuffles’ focus is cut-out images that can appear alongside backgrounds and effects. These cut-outs can come from images in Pinterest’s library or the user’s — all by using the app’s tools. The functionality and scrapbook aesthetic remind me of Polyvore, the fashion mood board platform that closed in 2018.
Visitors on Pinterest discover the Shuffles content via the app’s “For you” recommendations feed, which opens at launch. Additional discovery methods are searching for hashtags and keywords and accessing “Followed,” “Popular,” and “Recent” feeds.
Visitors can comment, like, save, and remix other users’ content by copying the layout and adding their own items.
- Organic reach. Shuffles’ creators can benefit from early organic growth and reach a greater proportion of consumers than on established platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
- Target Gen Z females. Shuffles has much less competition than TikTok and is helpful for merchants targeting Gen Z females.
- Unique editing options. The Shuffles app includes content creation tools and effects, including shake, spin, and pulse options.
- Cut-out functionality. iOS 16 launched in September 2022 and includes its own image cut-out feature, reducing the appeal of Shuffles’ version.
- Growth has slowed. The initial popularity of sharing Shuffles on TikTok has waned. Visitors’ interactions with Shuffles are small compared to the primary Pinterest experience.
- Clunky shopping journey. To shop on the Shuffles app, visitors must click the image, then the information button on the top right, then the source “Open link.” That’s a lot of clicks. But Pinterest is reportedly improving the experience, including featuring the brand and price on the initial image click.
- iOS only. Shuffles is available only on Apple devices with a waitlist for Android.
- Dominated by pop culture. Shuffles viewers are confronted by a wall of Taylor Swift and Harry Styles content. Merchants must look for ways to cut through the fandom.
Getting Started on Shuffles
Shuffles’ audience, while small, is an opportunity to target young females. The first step for merchants is pinning their full product catalog and optimizing it for search. Pinterest offers various catalog integration tools to help, including direct links with Shopify, WooCommerce, and feed platforms.