Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

Marketing in the Wild friends and other social media lovers. I am here with breaking news. By this time when this episode is released, who knows if it’s still breaking because social media moves so fast. But as of this recording, it is breaking news. There is a new content creation app out on the scene. It is called Shuffles, like shuffling a card, but plural.

Shuffles is made by Pinterest and it is invite-only. So yours truly found all of the gen Z teenagers that she could find and asked them for a invite code. And I finally got one and I was able to explore it, and it’s been really, really fun to see what’s going on and see it before it becomes big. I’m really excited about this one, but before I tell you why I’ll tell you a little bit about. Shuffles is a content creation app. It has a social media factor to it, but it’s a collage making app. So you pick a background, you can put different layers on it. It’s kind of like, like think back to a time that you were in school and you had to cut out magazines to be like your vision board or a mood board or a storyboard or something like that, and you just have different layers of magazines. It’s kind of like that only digital. Right now, it is popular with gen Z. 

Generally, that’s how most apps and most social media platforms happen. They start with a younger crowd and early adopters in there. And then it slowly spreads out. For those of you who were there when Facebook first started, it started with college students, but then when it opened up beyond college students, I was in high school at the time and was able to create a profile. And it just like went through all of the high school.

That also has happened with TikTok during the pandemic, when TikTok came out, gen Z was the first on the platform and they kind of help make things famous, like that young generation. Part of it I’m sure is because early adoption of technology and new things might come to them easier. I will be the first to say that as I made my first shuffle  I was like, I have no idea what’s happening. And I had to keep on telling myself, Hey, nobody else knew what was happening either. And when I look through other people’s shuffles, they have like some really cool animations and effects and I am too embarrassed to ask them how they did it.  But I will soon. 

Yeah. One thing that I love about it and the reason I think it’s gonna become popular is because Shuffles almost lets you be this designer or even a Photoshop editor just in the same way that TikTok gave us the tools to be these video editors. So there’s different features and shuffles, like you can cut out somebody’s headshot and leave the background. They do it with AI, and that’s something that not everybody knows how to do, or they might not know how to use Photoshop and Shuffles, you could do it with like a tap of two fingers. Caveat, if you know what you’re doing. So at first I didn’t.

Just like TikTok allows us to do takes and retakes and different effects. That is why it’s almost like both of them are putting these tools in the hands of ordinary people and allowing us to do cool things.

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All of my creative friends, if you are a Photoshop editor or designer or a video editor, I am not saying TikTok or Shuffles is gonna replace you. I just think that it’s a really cool tool. And what I really love about Shuffles in particular is that it almost creates this nostalgia. Like, even as I mentioned earlier, how we used to cut out magazines, I used to do this all the time as a kid, like cut out beautiful things from magazines to create mood boards.

This creates like a nostalgia. While I was trying it out, I kept on telling my husband, this is like when I was a kid, only digital. And so when you look through it, you’ll see a lot of different people doing things like about Gilmore girls. There’s a lot of Taylor Swift ones, just different things.

I was surprised that I didn’t see more like Stranger Things or current trends. It was more things like from a ways ago. If I had had Shuffles in my email days as a high schooler, I would’ve been all about it. I tried to channel my inner emo, but couldn’t to make a board. 

And this is the thing is what I’m also excited about is that this is incredibly innovative. Pinterest, for a while, hasn’t had a ton of new releases, but this is really innovative, compared to Meta, Meta is Facebook and Instagram. Meta’s come under fire recently because reels are actually just TikTok in Instagram. They are not anything new. And even now, Instagram is getting a lot of pushback about their move to video. And what’s cool about Shuffles is it has this interactivity animation element without the video. Different people and especially different marketers have different opinions on this, but I wonder what’s gonna happen with Meta. Aka Facebook and Instagram, if they don’t come up with new ideas soon. 

Will they go away? Probably not for a really long time, but innovative companies will take the spotlight from things like Meta. And especially if Instagram or Facebook chooses to adapt something like Shuffles, they’re gonna come under fire again for not coming up with a new idea. 

So here’s the deal. Right now, Shuffles only has average users. It doesn’t have a lot of businesses. I didn’t find any, we signed up with Stratos, but it doesn’t have any businesses on it. And so should businesses get on it? That’s hard to say at this point, but I don’t see any reason not to. However, I will say that if you, as a business, are going to get onto Shuffles, you need to keep it fun and social. Don’t violate the rules of social media, which is being social, for the sake of your business, because one, you won’t get any traction  and two, that’s not what social media is made for. And that’s part of the reason people are tired of things like Instagram and Facebook, because there’s so much ad-like content, even organic content that it defeats the purpose of social media.

So, if you decide to join Shuffles, which at the time of this release, I’m not sure if you’ll be able to, you can sign up for the waitlist, but you do need to have a code because it is invite-only at the time of this recording. If you’re gonna do it, I would recommend being fun, being social, connect with new people who you like their artwork, and then just have fun, creating different funky backgrounds, make new animations, which I still have to figure out how to do . Hopefully I will by the time this recording is released. One of my favorite ones that I saw yesterday was done by like a regular human being. It wasn’t a business, but it was actually like a Chanel bottle flying across the screen with a really funky retro background. And I was like, wow, that would actually make for a cool ad. 

The other thing that people are doing is making content in Shuffles and then downloading it and putting it on TikTok eventually, probably on Instagram as well. That’s the other way I see that I might use Shuffles, is to create the creative content for an ad per se, and then download the animation and use it in an ad or in a post.

So verdict is out on what happens with Shuffles. If you’re my husband, your hope that it’s increasing Pinterest stock price . But in the meantime, we as content creators get to use it and experiment with it and have a lot of fun. Really, it was almost refreshing as I’ve made a couple shuffles to get back to this creative element where realizing, okay, my constraints, I am not selling, I am not talking about our services. I am not talking about even some of our regular content. So the one that I made had a bunch of head cutouts of heroes and guides, which if you’ve been around, that’s like a StoryBrand concept, but I don’t mention StoryBrand or anything like that. 

My goal right now is to use it, to spark my creative juices, to create new content that I might be able to use on other platforms. But I’m pretty adamant that we will not be using it to do any selling of any sort, just as a simple way to connect with other content creators. We are really excited to see the future of Shuffles and the future of Pinterest and how shuffles is gonna change the Pinterest landscape. In the meantime, we’ll meet you back here next week and rest assured, that if there are any new Shuffles updates, you will hear them from us.

Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have, if you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.

Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.