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Pinterest Prioritizes Mobile Pinning With Its First Developer Partners

Services that drive mobile engagement and contribute content will be the early platform priority.

Kurt Wagner / Recode

The Pinterest developer platform is officially live. The company launched it with two chosen partners this morning: Fashion discovery app Polyvore and Internet automation service IFTTT.

Polyvore is a strange fit in some ways because it has been described as a Pinterest competitor. It’s a digital visual scrapbooking tool that lets people put together different outfit and accessory combinations, like paper dolls for grown-ups. CEO Jess Lee says the app works well with Pinterest — users frequently share their Polyvore collections to Pinterest and it drives traffic back.

Digital linking service IFTTT, on the other hand, caters to the tech crowd. It lets people connect apps and hardware with specific functions. For example, you can set up an IFTTT link so that whenever you post a picture to Instagram, it gets saved in your Dropbox account. Or, whenever a weather app says it’s going to rain you receive a text notification. There are almost countless choices with the 200 available services, and now Pinterest is one of the options.

Pinterest had its pick of partners for the platform launch — developers were clamoring to plug into the service. So why did it choose these two in particular?

IFTTT and Polyvore both make pinning on mobile easier. When asked about the choice, Pinterest developer platform lead Josh Inkenbrandt told Re/code, “People will be able to save Pins faster without needing to go in between multiple services.”

Like all digital apps, Pinterest has seen a big shift to mobile despite the fact that it started off as a desktop service. The transition has been a little rocky because pinning on mobile isn’t intuitive. On the iPhone you have to turn on the Pinterest feature through your phone’s settings before it appears next to the other share options. I didn’t know this and spent months taking screenshots of Instagram and Facebook images I liked and then manually uploading them to the Pinterest application.

By integrating with IFTTT and Polyvore, Pinterest makes mobile pinning easier in some cases. If users are already on IFTTT, they can set up auto posting to Pinterest so if they favorite an Instagram photo or get tagged on Facebook it is also posted to Pinterest. If they’re on Polyvore they’ll see a “pin here” button on outfits they create or view, prompting them pin them to Pinterest as well.

“Pinterest’s ultimate goal is to be a place you can search and discover whatever your passion is,” Debra Williamson, an analyst from research firm eMarketer, said. “If they can partner with other apps and websites, that just feeds into the Pinterest engine and makes it have that much more information. ”

Pinterest is setting a clear tone with the chosen two: Services that drive mobile Pinterest engagement and contribute content to the site will be the early platform priority.

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