Everything you need to know about ‘Shuffles’ by Pinterest and the growing popularity of photo collages

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Short form video content may be trending, but Pinterest’s new Shuffles app is bringing photo collages back in fashion. Here’s what you need to know.

Photo collages are a form of creative expression and have been around for decades. Before the digital age, creatives would hand make their photo collages, using magazine clippings and printed photos. Many still use this method today, especially when creating physical mood boards for campaign shoots, events, and product launches.

Nowadays, the art of creating a photo collage has gone digital, just like everything else in our lives. They now also come in many different forms on social, including video collages and photo dumps. Both are trends that have aided the re-emergence of the classic photo collage (more on that later). 

One popular social platform tapping into our re-growing obsession with photo collages is Pinterest. Already known as the go-to platform for inspiration, Pinterest has soft-released a new collage-making iOS app called ‘Shuffles’

Here’s everything you need to know about Shuffles by Pinterest and how recent social trends have led to the re-emergence of the popular photo collage.

What is ‘Shuffles’ by Pinterest?

Shuffles is currently an invite-only iOS app, similar to how Clubhouse first started out, and requires downloaders to enter a code from another approved user before they can create an account. 

The app is targeting a younger demographic, particularly Gen Zers, who are searching for social platforms that hero creative expression over social networking.

Image credit: Tech Crunch

How does Shuffles work? 

Once you have access to Shuffles, you can begin creating and sharing aesthetic photo collages. As your Shuffles account is linked to your Pinterest account, you can use images you’ve previously pinned to your Pinterest boards, or images from your camera roll or stock-like images provided by Shuffles, to create your collages.

Using AI technology, Shuffles will automatically select and cut out the hero product or person in the photos you choose to use.  — similar to iOS 16’s new image cutout feature. This makes it super easy to layer lots of different assets over the top of each other to create your collage. You also have the option to add moving elements, such as gifs, to make your collage come to life.

Once you’re happy with your collage, you can post it to your profile with a caption and hashtags. Users can then discover your collages, engage with your posts, re-share them to other social platforms, or follow your account to receive more of your content.

Similar to the way Pinterest and TikTok work, Shuffles’ home feed heros content discovery and is called ‘For you’. This feed serves content from new users who you don’t follow, based on your interests and previous interactions within the app. For example, if you regularly engage with beauty collages, the more beauty-focused posts you’ll start to see in your feed.

Shuffles also provides users with three more feeds. Including ‘Popular’, ‘Hashtags’, and ‘Recent’. As the names suggest, the Popular feed highlights collages with the highest amount of engagements. The Hashtags feed curates collages tagged with specific tags, such as #myfirstshuffle, #vintage, and #grunge, into subcategories. And the Recent feed shows the latest collages posted to the app.

shuffles pinterest screenshots
Image credit: Tech Crunch

Who is using Shuffles?

As we previously mentioned, Shuffles is targeting a younger demographic of social media users, particularly Gen Zers who are seeking creative expression over social networking.

The app saw 211,000 iOS downloads worldwide in the first month of being live on the App Store.

During the week of August 15-22, 2022, Shuffles ranked No. 5 in the Top Lifestyle Apps by downloads on iPhone in the U.S. — that’s 72 places higher compared to the week prior. It was then the No. 1 Lifestyle app on iPhone by August 21st.

Last month, the app was No. 66 Overall on the U.S. iPhone App Store, No. 1 Overall app in Ireland, New Zealand and the U.K., No. 2 Overall in Australia, and No. 3 in Canada.

Why should brands and creators use Shuffles?

Besides the fact that Shuffles hasn’t publicly launched yet and it’s already proving to be a hit worldwide with high download numbers, it’s a great traffic-driving tool for both brands and creators.

What’s interesting about Shuffles is that when you select a pinned image from one of your Pinterest boards, the link you originally attached to that pin will transfer over to your Shuffles collage. This means that when you post your finished product, users can tap on the individual assets that make up your collage and be driven to that link.

This poses a huge opportunity for creators and brands to use Shuffles as an extension of their Pinterest strategy and drive users to their website, blog, ecommerce site, Instagram account, TikTok account — you name it! 

Hear what this creator on TikTok has to say about this major traffic-driving opportunity:

This integration with Pinterest also proves a big opportunity for retailers looking to generate more sales. Pinterest’s revenue grew by 20% last year, with this growth being driven by the retail sector. This is thanks to the platform’s ‘Product Pins’ feature which allows users to click on pins tagged with shoppable products and buy the product directly from the merchant.

Do you see where we’re going with this? With Shuffles being linked to your Pinterest account, users can find your collages, click on the products featured in your collage, and be taken directly to your website to purchase said product! 

Shuffles by Pinterest could be a great way for retailers to get ahead of the competition and reach and engage a younger audience — especially with the holiday season creeping up on us!

Now that we know what Shuffles is all about, how did our obsession with photo collages reemerge?

Below, we’ve deep-dived into three trends that have aided the re-emergence of the photo collage in our social feeds.

#1 Aesthetic video collages on TikTok 

The latest viral TikTok trend – that has now also made its way over to Reels – is aesthetic video collages. It’s a new editing technique that’s bringing collages back in fashion, but in video form. 

Typically set to this trending sound, creators use this new trending editing technique to curate and highlight their latest and greatest pieces of content from everyday life or recent holidays. As you can see from the below example, creators will copy and paste small elements of their chosen images over each other to create a collage that’s constantly in motion.  

Not only is this the latest trend to tap into our obsession with aesthetics, but it brings back the love we have for expressing our creativity through photo collages in a new, trending format; short-form video.

#2 Authentic photo dumps on Instagram 

In 2021, the ‘photo dump’ started rising to fame among popular creators as a new way to share a collage of random, typically raw and unpolished, images. Dubbed as the ‘new Facebook albums’, the rising popularity of the photo dump has caused a new wave of authenticity among Instagram users. 

Now, everyone we know on the platform is photo dumping. Using Instagram’s carousel feature, users collate and share a collage of 10 images. In these haphazardly put together carousel posts you’ll see a selfie mixed in with a ’fit check, a sunset, some food, friends, and something the creator thought was funny on their way home from work. 

Photo dumping on Instagram has become a simple and easy way to creatively and authentically express yourself on the app, and combine your favourite photos in a collage-like format.

#3 Instagram Story collages made with ‘Layout’

Another Instagram trend we’ve seen become increasingly popular is Story collages made with the Layout feature. 

The ‘Layout’ feature allows users to collate a collection of up to 6 images in a single Story frame. Many use it to show off a collection of images they took during a certain time frame. For example, someone may post a Story collage of the images they took on their morning walk, or the snaps they took of their friends on a night out.

Similar to the photo dump, many users will create a Story collage with a more authentic lens, using raw and unfiltered photos that make them happy, rather than photos that they know will drive a lot of replies, reactions, or likes. 

A sub-trend that has evolved from the Story collage is the ‘Add Yours’ dumps. Using the new ‘Add Yours’ feature, creators will start a chain of topic-specific photo dump trends on Stories.

‘Add Yours’ was launched in November last year and it’s an interactive sticker that allows users to create a photo challenge on Stories. For example, the most recent challenge that went viral was ‘August dump’. Users were selecting up to 6 images from their camera roll that were taken during the month of August and shared it as a Story collage with the ‘Add Yours’ sticker. This then encouraged their Story viewers to participate and share their own collage of August snaps. 

man holding mobile phone to camera

Are you a marketer keen to jump on this social trend but unsure how to get started? Partnering with content creators is the perfect way to authentically inject your brand into this trending social conversation.

Thankfully, Vamp’s platform has streamlined the collaboration process between brands and creators, allowing you to seamlessly connect with our diverse, vetted community. Our talent sourcing software gives you the opportunity to find the perfect creators and scale content as needed. 

You can make your selection based on verified audience and performance data, and manage the entire campaign, from briefing your creators to reporting on their performance, all within the Vamp platform.

Ready to get started?​

Start running your first campaign, or contact us to setup a live demo.


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