If you’re a Pinterest user with an eye on app discovery, Apple has the perfect deal for you. The companies have partnered to create “App Pins,” allowing users to install iOS apps without having to leave the Pinterest app.
App Pins work like regular pins on Pinterest’s virtual pinboard, only with the added functionality of an “Install” button next to the regular “Pin it,” alongside an extra “view this on the App Store” option. App Pins can be spotted by way of a small “App Store” badge that incorporates Apple’s logo.
“We can be a really powerful service for app discovery, which is a problem that still really hasn’t been solved,” Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp told The New York Times. “Our specialty is really connecting people to the things they want to do.”
Pinterest differs from other social media apps because it’s more about discovering new things to buy, see or experience rather than checking in with friends or keeping up with the news.
For Apple, the deal with Pinterest is in keeping with Cupertino’s new awareness of social media. At the end of last year, Apple created its first Tumblr page, designed to promote its top iTunes picks for music, movies, TV shows and books in 2014.
In that case, the decision was likely made as a reaction to falling iTunes sales, which slumped for the second year in a row. Coming off its most successful month ever, the App Store certainly does not have that problem — although Pinterest is a great way for Apple to target a female audience.
According to stats from the company, 80 percent of Pinterest users are female, while 69 percent have reportedly found at least one item that they’ve either bought or plan to buy. As Apple continues to move in a more fashion-conscious direction with the Apple Watch, maybe it’s been flagged that the company could do more to embrace female users. (Could it be that Apple’s head of retail, former fashion executive Angela Ahrendts, has something to do with it?)
Either way, the Pinterest partnership seems to be an acknowledgment of sorts from Apple that its own discovery system remains somewhat broken, despite acquiring startups like Chomp to help sort out the problem. While we’d much rather see Apple sort out the problem internally, rather than turn to outside companies to help, this news is still positive when it comes to improving the ever-frustrating problem of app discovery.
To promote its new Pinterest partnership, Apple has launched its own App Store board on the service, promoting various apps related to fashion and recipes — perfectly timed to coincide with this week’s New York Fashion Week.