When Pinterest first launched, it was a social platform without any options for privacy. As Pinterest grew, it became apparent that people needed ways to protect their privacy, including their website, Pinterest boards and Pinterest feeds. The company has steadily improved its processes to ensure a positive user experience. Here are some ways you can control how people interact with you and your content on Pinterest.
Secrets Boards Let You Pin in Privacy
Although there is a social media component to the platform, Pinterest is more of a search tool that anything else. For that reason, it makes an excellent competitive research tool, as long as you can pin in private. Fortunately, this is simple to do although there are some issues of which you should be aware.
When creating a board the “Secret” toggle switch is usually turned off. Turn it on to keep this new board private for your eyes only. Other than that, there is not much difference between secret boards and regular ones. You can even add contributors to your secret board just like you do with regular boards.
If you wish, you can make a secret board public or vice versa. However, there are some caveats.
Secret Board Caveats
Switching a board from public to private is simple enough. However Pinterest notes that “Currently, the ability to switch a board from ‘public’ to ‘secret’ is only available through the Pinterest app on Android devices or via the Pinterest website.”
Privacy only goes so far when you contribute to a secret group board. [Tweet “Don’t pin anything that you are afraid could become public knowledge.”] Contributors can repin and like pins on the board, although it won’t link back to the board or display any information.
The creator of a secret board can make the board public without approval of other collaborators. Suddenly your association with that private board will become public knowledge.
Here’s what happens when a secret group board becomes public.
- Collaborators of that board become visible to everyone.
- All Pins and comments become visible and can be found in search results.
- The collaborators’ profiles now show the board and its Pins.
- Anyone who selected “Follow All” on any contributors’ profiles automatically gets added as a follower to the newly visible board.
- New pins to the formerly secret board become public knowledge.
Keeping a Low Profile on Pinterest
Not everyone wants to be found on Google. Fortunately, you can choose whether your profile page is available to search engines. Once you flip the switch, a tag is added that lets search engines know not to include your profile or boards in search results. Your exclusion from search results can take months to complete, but you can speed up the process by submitting links you find at Google’s removal site.
Blocking Other Pinterest Users
If you’re being bullied or harassed by another Pinner, you can always report them. In the case where another user’s Pins are cluttering your feed and impacting your experience, blocking them may be the simpler solution. Keep in mind that you can also block advertisers. Remember this if you’re considering Promoted Pins.
If you accidently block someone, or later change your mind, you can always unblock that person by going back to their profile.
Here’s what happens when you block someone on Pinterest.
- The Pinner is not notified, but will be alerted if they attempt to interact with you in some way.
- There is no longer any interaction between you and the Pinner. That means no pinning, commenting or messaging.
- They can still see your public board and Pins. So if you want to keep your Pins private, Pin to a secret board.
- You and the Pinner automatically unfollow each other.
- Likes that you’ve left on their Pins or Pins found through them will remain unless you remove them manually.
- You may still see the Pinner in public areas like searches, topic feeds, and group boards.
How to Prevent Pinning From Your Website
If you’re concerned about unauthorized pinning from your site, you can always place a watermark on your images. That way you still get the free publicity that Pinners provide while still discouraging unauthorized use of your creative work.
Not good enough? There is a small piece of code you can insert on your site to turn off Pinning. Paste the following into the <head> section of your site’s HTML:
<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin” />
Someone trying to Pin from your site gets the following message:
You can customize the default message by adding a description to the tag like this:
<meta name = “pinterest” content = “nopin” description = “Please don’t Pin stuff from my site!” />
You can also turn off Pinning for a single image by using this tag:
<img src = “myPic.jpg” nopin = “nopin” />
Sometimes a little privacy can be a good thing. Although it may never be needed, it’s good to know you have options for controlling your level of privacy on Pinterest. What do you think?