Pinterest Secret Boards: Visual Collaboration Tool for Midsize Businesses?

By | Nov 14, 2012

Pinterest is a social networking site that has a uniquely feminine appeal, judging from the sheer number of women who use the site to post recipes, fashion, bridal shower ideas, and arts and crafts. Now, however, the site has unveiled a tool that might give businesses a reason to explore using Pinterest in the enterprise: Pinterest secret boards.

Secret Boards Are Live

As reported in InformationWeek, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann sent an email to Pinterest users this past week explaining the feature and informing them it was available immediately for testing. Every Pinterest user has been given three secret boards, found at the bottom of their profile page, which allow them to "pin" anything they like while keeping the contents invisible to the rest of the site. Only users invited by the board owner would have access to a particular secret board.

According to the article, users who want to convert existing boards are currently out of luck: Boards must be set up as "secret" upon creation. Users who wish to make secret boards public, however, are able to do so with ease, and this is what opens up possibilities to enterprise users.

How This Feature Might Help a Midsize Business

Pinterest can be described as a digital scrapbooking tool with a social media component. What arguably drive its use are both its visual appeal and the ease with which ideas can be shared by groups of people. This is probably what makes it compelling to, say, a bride-to-be who seeks an easy way to organize the products and "look" she wants for her special day while keeping everyone in her party in the loop and even inviting suggestions.

Likewise, a team leader at a midsize company might create a board where potential design ideas for a new product will be shared with certain employees. The secret board feature allows sharing while avoiding tipping off competitors or presenting information of no interest to other departments. The advantage of Pinterest for the team is the ease and speed with which pictures can be added to a board compared with other enterprise scrapbooking/collaboration tools such as One Note or Microsoft SharePoint Workspace. Also, a Pinterest board can be easily shared with external users, unlike services behind a corporate firewall.

Midsize businesses looking for a quick, painless visual sharing tool, which allows a certain degree of privacy, now have a potential solution in Pinterest secret boards.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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