Shuffles, Pinterest’s viral app of 2022, announced on Feb. 28, 2023, it expanded in a number of countries. After being available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, Shuffles expanded to nine additional countries, including Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands.
With more people able to access Shuffles than before, we wanted to find out how creators can best harness this tool by speaking to one of its top creators, a so-called “Super Shuffler” named Gregory Littley.
As previously reported by Passionfruit, Shuffles is the latest collage-making app from Pinterest, first released on Apple’s app store in August 2022. In a short time, it garnered popularity among Gen Z users, even when the app was still invite-only, with the app earning over 200,000 installs in its first month. Since November 2022, however, it no longer requires an invite code. It is still only available for iOS operating systems.
Shuffles is a collaging app that connects to your Pinterest account, allowing you to create collages using pins on your boards. You can also search for pictures, add images from your camera roll, and use pre-made cutouts. You can post your completed collages, allowing other users to like, comment, share, and “reshuffle” your collage. Similar to TikTok, there is a “For You” page that becomes more refined the more you create and interact in the app.
Currently, there is no monetization capability on Shuffles, and its team told Passionfruit in its current stage of development, monetization is not its “top priority,” and its priority is “building a great organic product experience.”
However, never say never. The team said monetization wasn’t off the table for the future and that they are currently “running early experiments on how brands and Shufflers can collaborate and co-create on Shuffles.” The team said they believe Shuffles has great potential for brands to create “exclusive content” for regular users to use in their own creations. Especially, they said, in industries such as fashion and home decor.
Around March 2023, Shuffles also introduced the title “Super Shuffler” to describe “their most passionate users.” In a statement to Passionfruit, Pinterest declined to “speak to numbers” when it comes to determining who is a “Super Shuffler.” However, it did share it flags “Super Shufflers” as people who spend a lot of their time on the app.
Pinterest also stated Super Shufflers give feedback to the product team to help improve the app. But the title, as well as Shuffles itself, is still relatively new; it seems there are few distinct criteria to gaining the title of a Super Shuffler for now.
Gregory Littley (@littleylittley), a digital marketing specialist, content producer, and entrepreneur, has 22,000 followers on Instagram. He gained the title of “Super Shuffler” by Shuffles because, according to Pinterest, he has a “sheer passion” for the app. Since Shuffles first launched under invite-only, Littley has created hundreds of Shuffles, encouraging both creators and brands to join the app.
“I jumped on during that period of invite-only, and just instantly fell in love because I saw it as almost this last corner of creativity on the internet,” Littley said.
As someone with experience with graphic design tools like Photoshop and After Effects, Littley said he saw Shuffles as “a beginner-friendly entry into editing and creative software.” The creator added that when new features started to come out around the fall of 2022, he became more driven to post his creations on Shuffles across his other social media channels.
“As soon as I started sharing on other socials, I had people asking me what app I had used and how they could create it too. I ended up inviting friends, co-creators, and brands that I work with onto the app,” Littley said.
Littley is not the only one harnessing the use of Shuffles on other platforms. For instance, some creators share their Shuffles creations on platforms such as TikTok, where they receive much higher engagement than perhaps they would on Shuffles alone.
From a creator’s perspective, Littley said he finds it rewarding to upload “as much original imagery as possible,” noticing other people use the elements creators make from their own images. “I view it as this ultimate creative broadcasting tool,” he explained.
Littley said Shuffles’ value also proved useful in the real world outside of social media. Littley reflected on his time at the art fair Art Basel in December 2022. He said he didn’t have business cards but still wanted to find a way to connect with those he met during and after the event.
“I created a sticker to give out with a QR code on it in order to connect further with people I met,” he said. “It was a hit. I had hundreds of scans, and I don’t even know how because I only printed a few.”
Littley then highlighted the positive community he found on Shuffles to be another reason for his fondness towards the app.
“There’s a lot of uplifting sentiments instead of competitiveness, and I think that’s something the creator community really needs. It’s refreshing,” he said
His top tip for new creators on Shuffles was to “give yourself grace” and to “allow your creativity to run free initially and get comfortable using the different tools available to you.”
The creator managed to harness engagement from his Shuffles both on the app itself on a smaller scale, and through other media channels like Twitter and Instagram, where he has over 25,000 followers combined.
Littley said almost “every time” he posts his Shuffles on social media, “brand marketers, marketing executives, and community managers ask him how he creates them.
“It’s a great way for me to spark conversation with current or future clients,” Littley said.
It does seem as though some creators think the hype around Shuffles died down since its launch in July 2022, with one creator asking in a February 2023 TikTok, “what happened to Pinterest’s Shuffles?” However, this doesn’t mean it’s still not loved by some, with people commenting under the video about how they still use the app frequently, demonstrating there is still a dedicated community of those finding value in the platform.
Even though Shuffles is still in the early stages, it’s clearly continuing to spark engagement, with many creators drawn to its editing tools as methods of fan engagement both on and off its platform.
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