Max Fleishman

Can Pinterest fix the App Store?

Pinterest as the solution to the messy bedroom called "App Store"?


Dylan Love


Published Feb 12, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 1:35 pm CDT

The state of iOS App Store discovery is a nightmare and has been for some time. Sometimes even searching for a specific app by name is useless, and Apple knows this is a problem. It’s notably bought a few startups that would purportedly help in sorting the signal from the noise, but so far, little to no progress has been made.

But now Apple and Pinterest are collaborating to organize the App Store’s burgeoning catalog of apps. It’s a sensible fit: Pinterest’s unreal user growth and engagement suggests it knows how to build something that people won’t mind using and interacting with, and Apple’s booming collection of 1.4 million apps might just see some sensible, curated organization yet.

The new page will be called App Pins. Users can browse collections of apps just as they might view other pictures within Pinterest’s own native service. The big difference here is that these pins will have an “install” button next to them so you can instantly grab them.

Importantly, Apple will be the only entity able to determine which apps will be graced with “install” buttons next to them in App Pins. Were it a free-for-all, there’d quickly be a mindless wave of these buttons everywhere, setting the stage for a new type of spam to take to the Internet.

Pinterest might not be the most obvious choice as a partner for Apple, but fear of meeting expectations has hardly stopped Apple from following through on its plans in the past. ProductHunt, a site that’s something of a Reddit for new products and consumer gadgets, was previously floated as just the thing to make the App Store more cohesive.

However this new service works behind the scenes, we just want it to be better than the App Store’s own search function. Because right now it’s terrible. Really terrible.

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Feb 12, 2015, 1:10 pm CST