iOS 14 customization drives Pinterest to break its daily download record

Custom iOS Home screen Icons
Custom iOS Home screen Icons (Image credit: Traf)

What you need to know

  • Pinterest has hit a new daily download record after the release of iOS 14.
  • The data shows daily downloads crossed the 800,000 mark on September 20.
  • Custom icon sets and home screen widget/wallpaper design are driving downloads.

Reported by TechCrunch, iOS 14's ability to customize your home screen has resulted in a swarm of people downloading Pinterest to gain inspiration so they can design their own.

The excitement around the ability to customize your iPhone home screen following the release of iOS 14 has been paying off for Pinterest. According to new third-party estimates, Pinterest's app has seen record global daily downloads and a swift climb up the App Store's Top Charts as users sought out iPhone design inspiration — like photos to use for custom icons or wallpapers to match their new widgets, for example.

According to data from Apptopia, Pinterest hit a new record of over 800,000 daily downloads worldwide after iOS 14 released to the public last week.

On September 20, the firm estimates that Pinterest's app generated around 800,000 installs across iOS and Android on a global basis. That represents 32% week-over-week growth from the 607,000 installs it saw on September 13 — a few days before the worldwide release of Apple's new mobile operating system, iOS 14.

The wave of new downloads has caused Pinterest to jump from number 47 on the top free iPhone charts to number 7 within two days.

In addition, Pinterest swiftly climbed up from No. 47 on the top free iPhone charts in the U.S. on Friday, September 18 to No. 7 on Sunday, September 20. It then climbed up even further to No. 6 on Monday, September 21 — a figure that agrees with Apptopia's data. The app may have briefly hit the No. 1 position, as well, but not long enough to be recorded as the No. 1 app for the day.

The combination of home screen widgets and using the Shortcuts app to create custom icons is driving everyone to flood Pinterest with design ideas.

In combination with the new iOS App Library that lets you hide away less frequently used apps, the iOS update has managed to tap into what was clearly pent-up consumer demand for being able to personalize the iPhone interface to their own tastes and interests. Also, iPhone users are now taking advantage of Apple's Shortcuts app to create custom icons — although this is more of a hack, as the process isn't really replacing the icon itself, but rather creating a shortcut to launch the app instead.

A spokesperson for TechCrunch says that Gen Z has been a huge reason for the spike, as their group grew 50% year over year in June 2020 and they tend to use Pinterest to find design inspiration.

"There has been an increase in searches for iOS 14 wallpapers and home screen design this week by Gen Z users, a demographic group that grew 50% year-over-year in June 2020. These Pinners often use Pinterest as a resource for aesthetic inspiration and decorating offline spaces like bedrooms, so it's interesting to see them seek inspiration for their online spaces, too."

The new design capabilities in iOS 14 have caused more than just everyone flooding Pinterest for inspiration. People are making real money by selling icon sets for iOS 14 Home screens.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.