Pinterest Goes Mobile With New Apps For Android And IPad
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
A week after social-networking startup Pinterest scrapped its invitation-only membership rules, allowing anyone to join, the site has begun rolling out versions of its service for Apple’s iPad and Android-based smartphones.
Pinterest had already offered an app for the iPhone, though an updated version was also released along with the new versions on Tuesday. The move is seen as a way for the relatively new company to boost its appeal to a much wider audience.
Since first coming onto the scene in March 2010, Pinterest has grown from a million subscribers last year, to about 23 million in July, according to analytics firm comScore.
Pinterest co-founders Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp debuted the apps for Android and iPad at a company party at their new San Francisco headquarters on Tuesday.
Silbermann explained to Liz Gannes at AllThingsD that mobile is an important move for Pinterest because the company is about interacting with the world, not just sitting at a computer. “Our goal has never been to get you in front of the computer transfixed for hours and hours on end, it’s to get you offline.”
These new services do not come unexpected; Silbermann noted they were top priority areas for Pinterest to expand for some time. And, he added, the Android app was among the most requested items by users.
In fact, the lack of an Android app was such a frequent piece of feedback from users that it had become a longstanding joke at the office, said Silbermann. Not long after any new features were updated or added, there would be someone commenting: “Where’s the Android app?”
With the new update, users no longer have to ask when Pinterest be available on the Android. Now they can go on to commenting on other pertinent issues within the company. The new updates have been in the works for some time, and was even rumored to be coming late last month at Google’s I/O developer conference.
The Android app is available now from Google Play. The iPad app and updated iPhone app are available now from Apple’s App Store. A Kindle Fire version of the app will also be available later this week and will be available at Amazon’s App store.
Sharp noted the Android app was built from the ground up, and not just a simple port from iPhone. “We were listening, and our custom-designed Android app makes it simple and fast to pin, so that the time you spend on Pinterest is as productive as possible.”
He added that the iPad version includes a Pinterest-specific browser built into the app, including a new button that pops up a display of everything people have pinned from the website. The iPad app “offers users new ways to engage with pins, whether swiping the screen to resume browsing after viewing a board, or using the embedded browser to see what others are pinning from their favorite sites.”
The updated iPhone app has a number of new features as well, including a two-column look that enables users to see more info on the screen.
Pinterest, which is still privately held, raised $100 million in funding and as of May 2012, is valuated at more than $1.5 billion.