Pinterest Finally Rolls Out Android and iPad Apps

Social networking start-up Pinterest has rolled out versions of its service for Android-based smartphones and for the iPad, its latest move to boost its appeal to a broader audience.

Pinterest launched its first-ever apps for Android and the iPad today, just days after dropping its invite-only policy and opening its doors to the public. Photo: Pinterest

Pinterest, the social networking website where people “pin” content from around the Web on a virtual board, said on Tuesday that it was releasing versions of its mobile app for Android devices and the iPad.

Well, the wait for Android and iPad fans ended on Tuesday as Pinterest co-founders Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp debuted Pinterest apps for Android and iPad, from a party at the company’s new San Francisco headquarters.

The requests for the  Pinterest Andoid app were so common that it has become a Pinterest in-office joke: “How long will it take for someone to ask for an Android app?” Pinterest’s app for Android is available now from Google Play. Pinterest for iPad and the updated iPhone app are also available now from the App Store.

Evan Sharp said at a cocktail party that the Android app was customized for the platform from the ground up, and that the iPad app was designed to take advantage of the large screen to make it easy to pin things.

“We had to make our app really, really fast,”  Evan Sharp said of the Android version. “We went to many great lengths to make this app as fast as your phone is capable of going.”

The company also released an update for its iPhone app with some improvements to its design and announced plans to launch an app for the Kindle Fire, which should be available on the Amazon Appstore “later this week.”

The introduction of the new apps comes a week after  the social networking service began allowing anyone to join, ditching its invitation-only model which the site had been running with since it first came on the scene in March 2010.

News of the Android and iPad apps was announced in a post on Pinterest’s official blog. The Palo Alto-based company said it had finally responded to “very vocal” Android users who for some time had been requesting the introduction of a Pinterest app for their smartphones and tablets.

“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,” the company wrote in the post.

For iPad owners, “the 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 online scrapbook, which lets users easily share items of interest discovered on the Web by ‘pinning’ images to a board, has grown its user base remarkably since launching just over 2 years ago.

With around 23 million members, according to online analytics firm comScore, Pinterest is now the third most popular social networking site, with only Twitter and Facebook ahead of it. In May, Pinterest raised $100 million in a round of funding that values the company at $1.5 billion.

Pinterest’s move comes as some social networking high-flyers are feeling the sting of investor disenchantment. Facebook Inc., the world’s No.1 social networking company, is trading below its $38 a share IPO price on worries about slowing revenue growth and long-term money-making capabilities.

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