Pinterest became popular not just as a great service for sharing images, but also, as an excellent example of UI design. The Pinterest interface has been replicated and reimagined in many ways since the service became popular, but it is the core functionality of the service that keeps users coming back to it. Until a few days ago, the boards you created on Pinterest were all publically visible and anyone could go through the images you had pinned to it. With the increasing popularity of the service, the people at Pinterest have finally decided to add a private element to the network. Secret Boards, as their name implies, are meant to be contributed to and viewed by a select group of Pinterest users, much like Picasa’s collaborative albums or the Shared Photostream feature introduced in iOS 6. Unlike the public boards that anyone, with or without a Pinterest account, can view, these Secret Boards are reserved for only Pinterest users that they have been shared with. The visibility of a board is set at its creation and cannot be changed afterwards. This means, if you want to make any of your current boards secret, it won’t be possible. You can make a Secret Board public, but the change will be permanent with no chance of reversing the process.
If you’ve used Pinterest to create even a few boards, you will know that you can create it in one of two ways. A board (which is a group of images you’ve pinned) is created either from the ‘Upload Pin’ box, or you can create a board from the Add button at the top and upload pins to it later. To create a Secret Board, click the ‘Add’ button at the top, choose the ‘Board’ option and add the usual information you would when creating a board.
You will notice that a new ‘Secret’ option has been added here. You can toggle it on or off, but bear in mind the implications of this setting mentioned in the beginning.
A Secret Board can be shared only by inviting other Pinterest users to it. Once created, you and anyone else invited to the board will be able to select the Secret Board while uploading a new pin.
When you visit your dashboard, you will see the page is now divided into two parts; the top shows all your publicly visible boards while the bottom part shows all Secret Boards. Each Secret Board is accompanied by a pad lock icon to indicate its visibility. You cannot so much as use the direct link to the board to share it.
Users who’ve been invited to a Secret Board can only delete their own photos from it, leave the board and invite more users to it. Only the user who created the board can delete all pins, make the board public, remove other users from it or delete it entirely.