17 February 2015

The New York Times: “Aiming to ease App Discovery, Apple pairs with Pinterest”

Pinterest App Pins

Unless you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, it can be tough to stumble upon novel, surprising items among Apple’s sprawling garden of apps.

Pinterest, the popular social bookmarking start-up, thinks it has a fix for this. The company is unveiling a new product on Thursday that could make it easier for people to discover new smartphone apps without even having to go into Apple’s App Store.

The product, called App Pins, aims to do the same thing for smartphone apps that Pinterest’s service has done for photos, recipes and many other types of websites. In short, the service is a type of digital corkboard that lets visitors save, or “pin”, items they like or places they want to go.

Mike Isaac

A strange collaboration, to say the least. While it’s growing fast (in the US at least), Pinterest is still largely preferred by the female audience, so it’s reach among customers will remain limited. As other tech giants, had its share of problems trying to bring a social component to its services. It added and integration to iOS, only to restrict them later; currently you can still ‘like’ apps in the store, although I’m not sure the action registers anywhere anymore. I expect this new partnership to end in the same muddled results.

Granted, I don’t know much about how Pinterest boards work, but to me it seems App Pins simply replicate Apple’s curated sections outside of the AppStore, offloading some of the app curation work on Pinterest users. This isn’t an improvement in app discovery, just another place to find apps… – not to mention how much easier it becomes to ‘recommend’ low-quality and spam apps.

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