Imagine if Pinterest had been invented by your cool friend that moved to New York to study fashion instead of the friend that married early, had a couple kids, and settled down in Salt Lake City.
Instead of corgi pictures, crock pot recipes and holiday crafts projects, it would be filled with nothing but cute shoes, cute clothes, and stuff to put in your cute apartment. You could call it Cute Overload, but since that's taken we can call it by its real name, Keep.
Keep is a shopping app but the result is more like pure, consumerist crack. Log in and the home screen is a never-ending feed of stuff that's trending with other users, all of which is currently available for sale. Scroll through trending items and "Like" them or add them to a Keep collection, similar to a Pinterest board. Or—and here is where the danger lies—click "Buy."
Keep made headlines this summer by becoming the first app to offer universal checkout, meaning users can enter their payment information one time and purchase all the items in their cart, whether they are from Burberry, J.Crew, or Etsy. So far universal cart is only available in the iPhone/iPad version of the app, though web and Android users can click the Buy button to browse to the retailer's web site and buy it from there. That adds at least a couple steps between "impulse" and "purchase," but not for long.
Anything that's available for purchase on the internet could be added as a Keep, but trending items are almost universally women's fashion, beauty, and home goods, with special collections of trends like fall sweaters, bags for under $100, "kitchen wants," and watches all curated by Keep's editors. Since all users see is a picture until they click on it, part of the fun is finding out if that great dress/clutch/ring/table/etc. is a designer creation that costs hundreds of dollars or a cheap thrill from Forever 21.
Not addicted yet? Keep editors also scour Instagram and find products that popular users and style bloggers are wearing for an "As Seen on Instagram" list. When the big fall fashion issues came out in September, Keep created shoppable lists of all the products from each magazine, like the blue python clutch from Houston-based Presmer that was featured in Lucky. When the price on something you've pinned (ahem, kept) goes down, you get a notification, lest it become not only a Keep but something with real Buy potential.