Pinterest's Gen Z-focused Shuffles app has now inspired a new Pinterest feature

A year ago, Pinterest's then brand-new collage-making app Shuffles was going viral on TikTok as Gen Z users sought out invites in order to create their own inspirational image boards. Now, that collage-making capability is heading over to Pinterest's main app with the launch of a new feature that lets users leverage the platform's advanced visual technology to cut out images and build interactive collages of favorite products and other visual content they find inspiring.

The idea is clearly lifted from Shuffles, which uses similar image cutout tech. On the app, users could build their own collages using photos from Pinterest's own library or by snapping photos with their phone's camera. When they found an image they like, they could cut out objects from the foreground of the photo -- a feature that was also introduced with iOS 16 and now is being used to make image stickers for iMessage in iOS 17.

Not only did these collages serve as inspirational mood boards, the objects in the completed work were also shoppable. Users could tap on the items and be redirected to Pinterest where they can find out if the item can be purchased on a retailer's website.

This is essentially the same product that Pinterest is now introducing in its flagship app as "Collages," dubbing it a way for Pinterest users to "move beyond Pins" and see how different products come together. But while Shuffles wasn't as heavily focused on shopping -- TikTok users were creating "aesthetic collages" as works of art, in many cases -- Pinterest's "Collages" are meant to drive users to purchase. Brands can also get involved by updating their catalogs so users can add their products to their collages.

The feature is in early testing, Pinterest says, and will roll out to global users soon. It's not clear what this means for the fate of Shuffles itself, which has since fallen from its viral hit status to now No. 121 in the Lifestyle category on the App Store. However, Pinterest says that for the time being, it will continue to use Shuffles as a testing ground and bring its best features to the platform.

The addition of Collages was only one of several new product and adtech announcements Pinterest made at this week's global advertiser event, Pinterest Presents. Here, the tech company also shared updates to its advertising product roadmap, including the expansion of its recently introduced premium video ad slot, Premiere Spotlight, from the search page to the home feed. This is now available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico.

Image Credits: Pinterest

The company also introduced two new ad products, an interactive ad solution called Showcase ads, where users can swipe through branded images, and Quiz ads, which let brands pose up to three questions to create an entertaining ad experience. These are now offered in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.

Pinterest additionally updated business tools, including its Business Manager for agencies and advertisers, which now has more dashboards and audience sharing features, and Creative Studio, a place where brands can generate lifestyle imagery for Pins by adding their Pin link, then picking from a set of generated custom background images. The company also is introducing mobile deep links, direct links and other e-commerce integrations, including with Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce.

The event didn't touch on Pinterest's creator features or its efforts at challenging TikTok with video feeds, which have seemingly fallen out of focus in recent months, leading to the end of Pinterest's Creator Rewards program last November.

Nor did the company heavily tout its use of AI, beyond implying it was being used to improve ad relevance.

The larger takeaway from the event was Pinterest's singular focus on being a shopping destination, not just an inspiration pinboard. CEO Bill Ready noted that engagement with shoppable content was up 50% year-over-year and now more than half of Pinterest's users are there to shop.

"In the past, you could easily window shop on Pinterest, but the actionability wasn't clear. It's like all the stores were closed," Ready said. "Now, we're opening the stores. We're making everything shoppable. That's every image and every video. Shopping is now seamlessly integrated across all our core surfaces," he added.

The company also said it has more than 465 million people who visit Pinterest every month with Gen Z being the largest driver of its engagement growth and its most engaged audience.