Pinterest now has ‘App pins’

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Apple is pinning some of its hopes to Pinterest to improve app discovery. Pinterest, the popular social bookmarking service, introduced a new feature that lets users share and discover apps for iPhone and iPad.

With the option, called App Pins, users can tap an “install” button, which lets them download the application to an iOS device without being taken to a page outside of Pinterest. Apple, for its part, has thrown its support behind the effort by creating an official App Store page on Pinterest that curates applications into categories ranging from fashion to health. The Apple App Store has also joined Pinterest. Its page is highlighting various services—from fashion to healthy recipe apps, each with a photo, brief explanation, and link to iTunes.

The App Store is a huge producer of wealth for Apple and for independent software producers. But it’s weighed down by more than 1.5 million apps and games: finding what you might want can take a lot of time and effort. Pinterest aims to make the process a little easier with its App Pin service. Sign on, which costs nothing, there is a little pin button at the top right of the browser window. Clicking on it, an image of the app is “pinned” to a Pinterest “corkboard” on the browser. Pin scores of them and nose through them in detail later. There’s no charge, at least for the time being — not even for some of Apple’s precious “featured” apps. Bad news for Android-loving Pinners, this is an iOS exclusive

The U.S. Company has raised significant capital from investors — it closed a $200 million Series F round at a $5 billion valuation in May 2014 — but only recently has moved towards monetizing its service. Promoted pins are an obvious source of revenue, and app Pins — though initially for users — could also yield revenue for the company if it decides to open them up to developer and advertiser promotion.