Bec Martínez-Cristillo was hours into her search for an eight-character access code.
She’d scrolled through Reddit threads. She’d sorted through hundreds of TikTok and Instagram comments. She’d even considered buying a code on Depop, Gen Z’s favorite resale app, where they were priced from $5 to $100. Then, late last week, Martínez-Cristillo finally found it—a free code to Shuffles, the new collage app from Pinterest
Created by Pinterest’s in-house incubator, TwoTwenty, Shuffles has become one of the most coveted apps on the internet since quietly launching this month as a closed beta release. Anyone hoping to log in needs to be chosen off a waitlist, or enter a hard-won access code. Every new user gets five codes to share with friends—or, apparently, to sell to the highest bidder.
Shuffles’ immediate success—last week it was the fifth most downloaded lifestyle app on iOS, according to Data.ai, up 72 places slots from the week prior—comes during tough times for the 12-year-old Pinterest. In June, the company’s co-founder, Ben Silbermann, stepped down as CEO amid a 5% decrease in global monthly active users and a roughly 77% drop in its stock price. Though revenue grew 9% year over year in Q2 2022, the company’s earnings were lower than analysts expected, leaving new CEO Bill Ready, a Google alum, with a bit of a mess to clean up. Though Shuffles certainly won’t be a cure-all, it has provided a rare ray of sunshine to an otherwise beleaguered social platform.