November 22, 2012 - Comments Off on Privately Pinteresting and Loving It!

Privately Pinteresting and Loving It!

For a network that was pretty forward thinking and on trend with image loving and sharing addicted social networkers, Pinterest was a little slow on the uptake when it came to listening to the anti-sharing request of ‘give us private boards’. Seemingly strange for those of us who devote our time on the network to pinning and re-pinning to and from boards (aka being sociable on a social network) it has been a popular demand.

One rival for the pin board crown sprung up in the form of LoveIt. At first glance, LoveIt’s only key differentiator to Pinterest is their private board function. It looks pretty much the same as Pinterest (something it wears proudly and doesn’t seek to hide though) but rather than pinning it’s all about “loving” things.

After exploring LoveIt a bit more, I found that there were other factors that made it an attractive hang out. You can import all of your content from Pinterest (with all of the sources cited correctly), batch upload images and love a load of images/video content in one go from other social sites. Crucially, they are upgrading continually based on user feedback.

So I had a bit of a look around, imported my Pinboards and promptly went back to Pinterest where everybody was actually hanging out. I was left feeling wondering if we really need another Pinterest? (Private boards or no). Mashable asked and answered: “But is there room for a service that basically does the same thing as another really successful one? Definitely. The Internet has unlimited space, and every network needs a competitor. Just ask Groupon.”

Likely to have been clocking LoveIt as claimant to the crown of current social media darling as well as listening to its community – amidst cries of ‘finally’ from its already partaking members – Pinterest launched secret boards this month. If they follow suit with the batch uploads and batch ‘liking’ of things then I probably won’t have a reason to be LovingIt again anytime soon – especially now that the main competing feature is available on both.

At first look, Pinterest’s secret boards are going to prove the most useful for the following (for me, at least!):

  • Secret squirrel endeavours like Birthday/Christmas present lists for friends and family – the perfect place to put cool gift ideas or plan themes for a surprise party
  • Curating lots of pretty pictures of what I’d love my engagement ring to look like (as I’m not even engaged yet, I have plenty of time to plan this. I also don’t really want to share the ideas with anyone else as it being individual is a major requirement!)
  • Creating a collection of wedding dress inspiration to show to my fantastic Mum who will design and sew the dress one day. Again, I’m quite happy to keep this one private as it needs to be a special and unique garment!

These secret boards were the ones that sprang to mind straight away. By nature, I’m quite a chatty and sharing kind of person – I like to recommend and big up the people, places and products I like.

What do Pinterest see secret boards as being used for then?

Evrhet Milam, Pinterest software engineer said: “We hope that secret boards will make Pinterest even more useful. You can use secret boards to keep track of holiday gifts, plan a special event, or work on a project you aren’t yet ready to share with the rest of the world. You can keep your secret boards to yourself or invite family and friends to pin with you.”

I looked at that after I had come up with my own uses to see how in tune Pinterest are with their community. They’re clearly on the same wavelength! I’m not sure if I’d invite friends or family to pin with me for the engagement ring board but for the surprise party or gift themed board I might. I should note here that you can have only 3 secret boards at the moment, so it’s clear that while Pinterest are answering community requests they are still putting the focus on an open sharing platform.

And what about the wider Pinterest community?

Reading the comments on Samantha Murphy’s Mashable article discussing secret boards it seems that there are 3 key areas for private pinners:

  • Baby related products and inspiration – new mum’s who may not want to reveal their pregnancy in the early stages
  • Professional ideas and inspiration shared from interior designer/marketer/agency to clients
  • Preparing and populating a board before making it public so it is never on display empty

Nicole Nguyen offers up some similar ideas for making use of your three boards on Geek Sugar.

The only real drawback that has been highlighted so far is the fact that you cannot make current public boards private, which is simply because people may have re-pinned from them.

Will you use the new feature? What secret catalogues of things will you be collecting and curating?

So there’s my personal take on recent Pinterest updates, but what about using Pinterest for Business and the new business verification and pages? Tune in next week for my thoughts on those…