Online Tools: Secret Boards on Pinterest

Pinterest Secret Boards Set up and Strategy

Pinterest’s Secret Boards are a great online tool for collecting and organizing resources that you don’t want to share. Whether it’s for business or personal use, once you set up your Secret Boards, you’ll probably find yourself wishing for more than the few available to you!

What is a Secret Board?

A Secret Board on Pinterest is a board that is kept private from all users except those given access. The board and any Pins (or re-Pins) will not be shown on the public feed of any users (none of your Followers will see your Secret Board and Pins either).

At the bottom of your Boards’ page, you should see three empty Boards. You have the option to add up to three Secret Boards. [Update as of 2/28/14: you can now create unlimited Secret Boards.]  You can  click on the “Plus” sign to create a new Board from this screen or you can create a Board from your Home page (and mark it as “secret” in the settings). Below is a screen shot of my Secret Boards (notice that I have more than 3 because one of them is a group board that I was added to).

Tips for Using Secret Boards on Pinterest

You can give your Board a name and description if you want. *Note* Even if you choose a Category here, your Secret Board will not show up in the public category searches.

These Boards are automatically marked as “Yes” to the Secret option and will stay that way until you change the option to “No” (public). *Note* Once you change a Secret Board to the No/public option, you can NOT set it back to the private/secret option.

Pinterest Secret Board Settings

You have the option of adding contributors (other Pinterest users) to a Secret Board. So whoever you invite will see all Pins you add to the Secret Board. You can change the settings and delete contributors whenever you want.

Pinterest Secret Board Settings part 2

If you see a Pin on Pinterest or a link/article on the internet and “Pin It” to your Secret Board, it will not show up on anyone’s search results, your home feed, your Pins Activity Page or on any other users’ home feed.

If you have a Pin on your Secret Board that you Re-Pin to one of your “Public” Boards, then the Re-Pin will become “public” and show up in your Followers’ Feeds, search results and on  your Pins Activity Page, just like any other Pin.

So how can you take advantage of Pinterest Secret Boards? Here are a few ideas:

Organize your Resources

Are you doing research for a blog post? Or looking for inspiration for your next project? Set up a Secret Board to collect resources that you don’t want to share with your followers. It can be a Board of random Pins that make sense to you, but wouldn’t necessarily attract followers.

If you find something inspirational that you do want to share, simply Re-Pin it from your Secret Board to one of your public Boards.

Use them to Check out the Competition

If you want to research competitors, potential clients or industry leaders, then a Secret Board is a great place to collect a Pin or two from those users.

You can keep an eye on their accounts without following them right away. As time goes on and you decide build a relationship, you can then follow their account/Boards as you normally would.

Build Up New Boards Before Launching

If you are creating a new board, you may not want to make it public until you’ve added a few Pins (I suggest at least 5 as a start), so it looks more impressive to a potential client.

So make the Board “secret” while you are building it. When you have a few great Pins on the Board, change the setting to Public.

You’ll also avoid overwhelming your Followers’ Feeds with Pin after Pin if you build the Board with a “secret” setting initially.

Collaborate With Team Members, Employees or Colleagues

When working on the launch of a new product, service or project, use a secret board to collect and share materials with your team, employees or colleagues. You can set up the board, make it secret, then “invite” other users – which gives them and no one else, access to the board.

Save Content Just for You

There may be times when you’re planning a personal event/party, a re-decorating project or looking for gifts, and don’t want anyone else to see what you’re collecting. A Secret Board is a great way to keep these things “hidden” from Followers and (gift) recipients.

You could also use a Secret Board for personal development: a Vision Board, articles to read on a certain topic, incentives (gifts for you!) to celebrate the completion of a goal…if you need an accountability partner to hold you to your goals, then invite a friend or family member to contribute to this Board.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. What other ways are you using Pinterest’s Secret Boards for business or personal collections?


photo credit (drived from): Joelk75 via photopin cc

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About Terry League

Terry helps small business owners with social media strategy, training and account management. With a background in marketing and training, she enjoys combining those two areas to teach business owners how to get the most out of their social media marketing. Connect with Terry on Twitter and Instagram @TerryLeague for more on social media with a mix of positive motivation and inspiration.


  1. I never realised we could hide our boards. That opens up a whole new use for Pintest, I never really thought about this before. To me it was always a away to publish content for others to see and to promote my infographics.

    Pintrest just got better, thanks!
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  2. Miko Matis says:

    I dont get this though. Why would someone create and pin stuff then hide it? I thought the whole point of pinterest is to share and discover interesting facts, products etc.

    Miko from
    Miko Matis recently posted..How to kill bedbugs?My Profile

    • Great question, Miko! It really depends on how you are using Pinterest. If you are collecting resources for yourself (blog post research, competitor research) you may not want your Followers to see that content, so you can create a secret “Research” Board.
      Or if you are creating a Board for motivational quotes and hope to get a lot of new followers from it, you may want to create it as a Secret Board initially, pin 5 really good quotes to the Board and then make it public. That way, you aren’t “debuting” an empty Board.
      Other Boards, such as company events, new products or client testimonials…that have a more “real-time” publishing goal, should be public Boards from the beginning. You want this type of content shared immediately for your company’s profile.
      Hope that answered your question. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
      Terry League recently posted..Facebook Hashtags: Quick Tips for Small Business OwnersMy Profile

  3. pinterest, I guess I have blocked myself out of my account. I can see my boards but can not pin now. When I go up to wheel nothing opens. I don’t want to sign out because I don’t know if it will let me. Or if that’s what I even need to do. Wording was misleading to me when I was creating a new board.
    Thank you in advance. Micki

  4. Also my camera roll is Activated on pinterest
    How do I block that, what a mess

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