What Are Pinterest Secret Boards And How Do They Work?

We’ve been waiting a long time for Pinterest to release private boards and on Friday, November 9, 2012 they released “secret boards.” Like everything else with Pinterest, it’s a new feature they are trying out. Each person gets 3 secret boards to start off with. I smell a freemium business model coming soon out of this, where Pinterest charges you for more secret boards if you want them, but that’s pure speculation on my part of course.

You also voted back in September, and although “block a user” came in first, “private boards” came in second.

What are secret boards?

They are pin boards where no one else can see those boards or what you’ve pinned except for the people you’ve added to your pin board.

How to do they work?

Each member gets 3 secret boards. According to Pinterest, “if you already have 3 secret boards but want to make a new one, you’ll need to delete one or make one of your current secret boards visible to everyone. If you’re invited to contribute to someone else’s secret board, it won’t count against your 3-board limit.” Contributing to other people’s secret boards seems to be unlimited right now.

All secret boards have a little lock symbol next to the name of the pin board.

How do you add someone to your secret board?

In order to add someone as a contributor to your secret board you must be following at least ONE of their boards. Edit your board and add their name to the “Who can pin?” setting.

Can you create secret boards on mobile?

Yes. On iOS and Android, click on “profile” then  scroll to the bottom of your pin boards and tap, “create a secret board”

How do you change a secret board to public?

Once you feel like your pin board is ready for the public, you can edit your pin board and just switch the “secret” setting to “off” and then your board will be public.  (See below for what this means under “What you can’t do”)

What you can’t do

There are two things you cannot do with secret boards.

  1. You can’t make current pin boards secret.
  2. You can’t change a secret board to public and then back to secret. Once you change it to public, that’s it.
What are they good for?
Imagine you had a new baby or you are getting married and you want to post images of your dress but you don’t want everyone to see before the big day. Or maybe you are a designer and you are looking for ideas to stage or remodel a house or room and you don’t want your ideas public yet. These are the kinds of things that secret boards were meant for, however, I am sure you’ll find many more uses for them.
Do you think “secret boards” are good for business? Let us know in the comments below.


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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.