Hands-On With The Revamped iOS App For We Heart It, The Feel-Good Social Photo Site

We Heart It, the Pinterest-meets-Tumblr social image sharing platform that’s attracted a large and passionate user base among teens and the under-25 set, today rolled out a completely rebuilt and redesigned iOS app.

We Heart It president Dave Williams swung by TechCrunch‘s San Francisco headquarters to give us a hands-on first look at the app, which has been overhauled from the ground up for the new design.

It’s a key launch for the company, since it’s an update that will be the default experience on the service going forward for millions of people: We Heart It has more than 25 million monthly active users, more than 80 percent of its daily usage now comes from mobile, and two-thirds of its mobile audience comes from iOS devices (the Android app had a less comprehensive redesign and update a couple months back.)

We Heart It was founded in 2007 as a desktop-oriented experience, so this is meant to position the company more solidly in the mobile-first present, Williams says. Also, when you’ve got a young and fanatical user base like We Heart It’s (even though the company has just 25 full-time staff, there are scores of people globally who list We Heart It as their “workplace” on Facebook, as a nod to how much time they spend on the site) big design changes are likely to have a big impact.

Of course, young users can also mean fickle users. When asked how We Heart It planned to retain and grow its user base as trends and their web habits change, Williams said that providing more personalized experiences will be key. “The more we invest in allowing the experience to be customizable, the more users can grow with it,” Williams said, pointing to the launch of “collections,” a feature that’s placed prominently in the new iOS app, as an example of how We Heart It is targeting this issue.

“What you’re interested in today can be different from what you were interested in six months ago, so that’s very important to our growth,” Williams said. “We’re looking not just at aging up in terms of the users we attract, but also allowing people who have already joined to get older.” Staying relevant to a maturing user base in a competitive market will certainly be a challenge, but it sounds like We Heart It is thinking seriously about tackling it.

Watch the video embedded above to see the new app in action, and hear Williams talk more about what We Heart It is, its recent growth, and its strategy for the months ahead.