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Pinterest Secret Boards unveiled: how can they be used?
Posted on November 14th 2012
By popular request, Pinterest has given accounts holders the ability to add up to three ‘secret’ boards at any one time. When you add a pin to a secret board, it won’t show up anywhere else on Pinterest—not in the category sections, Popular, Everything, anyone’s search results, your followers’ home feed, your own home feed, or even pins or activity pages on your profile. You can see the ‘secret boards’ at the bottom of your list of boards on your profile: you invite contributors as you would a public board – and they can recommend the board creator to invite others – but contributors can only be approved or removed by the creator.
Ideas for Pinterest secret boards
What could ‘Secret Boards’ be used for? Some obvious uses:
- Works in progress which you want to perfect before they’re made public. Great for brands who want to fully develop and test a showcase before unveiling it.
- Collections of visual notes and links for projects you are working on. Recommended for bloggers.
- As a present list – kind of in tandem with the new Facebook ‘I want’ button. Maybe it’s the board creator getting married? They have the chance also to share either a ‘mood board’ or a defined Wedding List. Or perhaps this is the social media version of a Santa list? (Note the timing of this release …). I’ve got to admit, I’m thinking of this mostly private use rather than for brands and businesses.
- Event planning. Great way to collaborate over an event – share images of venues, decor, costumes and so on.
- Private photo sharing. For example, for the eModeration company account, I’ve just added one for our company meet-ups. A great place to collate and curate these images, which certainly belong to a company Pinterest account, but should be accessible only to those within the organisation.
Can you think of more?
The dark side of secret boards
I’d be remiss in my job if I didn’t of course point out to Pinterest that there are far less savoury reasons for a group to want to get together and share images – but Pinterest assures us that it will monitor secret boards for “objectionable” content banned by its terms of service, much the same way it does public boards. We’ll see.
The secret could get out
One point worth bearing in mind, and which Pinterest have been at pains to stress through their communications on secret boards: what goes on in a secret board won’t always necessarily stay in a secret board. The board creator can make the board visible to everyone at any time, without permission from other collaborators. If you don’t want your pins and other activity to be visible to all, then you can remove yourself from the board at any time:
1. Go to your profile by clicking on your name at the top-right toolbar on Pinterest.
2. Click the Edit button underneath the board you want to leave.
3. Find your name on the list of “Who can pin?” and click the “Leave” button to the right of your name.
When you leave a group board that you did not create:
- The board is removed from your profile, but the board continues to exist on the profiles of the other collaborators.
- You will automatically unfollow the board. If you’d still like to see pins from that board, you should go back and follow the board.You also have the option to disable group board emails. On the email preferences page, change “Group pins” to OFF.
Watch out though:
- The previous pins and comments you made on that group board will NOT be removed. Those pins and comments will remain on the group board and still be attributed to you and your Pinterest profile. If you would like to delete those pins, you MUST manually edit each pin and delete it. See this Support article for information on how to delete your comments.
If you’d like more information about Pinterest and how you could use it for your brand, see our guides:
- 19 Pinterest Tools: review of the best tools on the market to help your Pinterest use, from screen capture to curation
- The Complete Pinterest Guide for Brands: an eBook giving detailed and practical advice to brands on how to participate on the Pinterest platform.