Pinterest Group Boards Do NOT Share Followers

by Lisa Douglas

For the past month, Pinterest has been broke for me, in one way or another. First, my personal boards went missing. Now, it’s my group (collaboration) boards that are seemingly MIA.

While being without access to those group boards, I decided to conduct a little research experiment with a friend, and I wanted to share my findings with you, particularly with regards to followers to group boards. Buckle up, fellow pin-lovers, this is going to be a good one.

Recently I’ve encountered a few folks who’ve made the assumption that, if invited to contribute to a “group” board on Pinterest (which is a board that there are multiple contributors to), that all of the contributor’s followers will see the board’s pins, too. In actuality, though, this assumption/statement is false.  The only way your followers will see your contributing boards pins is if you, yourself, created the board to invite contributors into.

I know, that was a mouthful, and potentially hard to comprehend in print. Let me illustrate for you with the following screenshots.

This is my good friend Annie. She was a good sport and let me utilize her Pinterest board for this little experiment. Here’s what her Pinterest profile looks like to me currently:

annie pinterest profile

On her profile, you will see she contributes to a board called “Pin Your Made in USA Finds!” This is what I see/saw when I clicked over to it, though:

Pin Your Made in USA Finds!

A couple things to note here: Annie merely contributes to this board, but she did not create it. Made in the USA is the profile who created this board, and Annie was merely invited to pin to it as a contributor. You can see in the above screenshot that I do NOT follow that board.

But, going back to Annie’s profile, you will see, I follow “all” her boards:

annie pinterest

But how do I follow “all” when I don’t follow that board? What “follow all” means is, that I follow all of the boards Annie has created, but not the boards that Annie contributes to, unless she, herself, created the board for others to contribute to.

To further prove that statement, I encouraged Annie to find and pin a link to that “Pin Your Made in USA Finds!” board.

annie's pin

You can see that she pinned to that board, and above where her name is, it says I follow “her.” That’s particularly confusing, since I don’t follow this particular board. I can definitely see where people would be confused.

Now, here’s where it gets really interesting.

Her pin has posted to the board, but here is my refreshed feed:

pinterest feed

No pin from Annie and her skirt.

So I refresh again, moments later:

pinterest feed refresh

Not only does it not show the skirt, it does shows Annie has posted another pin to a board SHE created that I DO follow.

I refresh one last time …

pinterest last refresh

And still no pin.

More things to note that further prove my claim: Annie’s followers number is shortly under 1000.

annie pinterest followers

Why is this relevant? Because there are many that may follow her profile, or follow all, like I do, but there are also some that may pick and choose which boards to follow. Keeping her number in mind above, let’s take a look at the “Pin Your Made in USA Finds!” board:

pinterest board

This number is almost double Annie’s. This would mean two things – 1) Twice as many followers of Annie’s ONLY want to follow this board (unlikely) or 2) These followers are NOT Annie’s at all, but Made in the USA‘s (likely). So let’s check it out:

pinterest board

Now, I don’t follow Made in the USA at all, as is evident by the screenshot, which further explains why I can’t see their “Pin Your Made in USA Finds!” board. More importantly, though, is that their follower number is much closer to their “finds” board. What this means is, that not all of their 2000+ followers follow that board.

In conclusion:

  • If you are invited to join a Pinterest board, your Pinterest followers will not see what you pin there, the person who invited you created it and therefore, their followers will see your content. You need to decide if that’s good for you or not. It could be good for you if you’re pinning content on their board and it opening yourself up to new followers, especially if they have a lot more than you. But if it’s a topic you would like your followers to see, you might want to consider making the board yourself.
  • If you create a Pinterest board, and then invite folks in to contribute, you are not joining forces with them and merging their followers in with your followers for this board. These people will be contributing and distributing content on your Pinterest board to YOUR followers, so be sure to choose wisely.
  • Your followers do have the option to follow the boards you contribute to, because they do appear on your boards in your profile. While this is good, how often do your followers regularly come back to visit your profile? Also, hitting “follow all” does not include those boards that you did not create. They would have to follow them each separately. And if they don’t know that “follow all” doesn’t include these boards, and don’t come back to visit your profile regularly, they will never know about this contribution boards.

What do you think? Did you know about this already? Will this change whether or not you will continue to contribute to group boards on Pinterest?

And if you don’t already, why don’t you follow me on Pinterest? 🙂

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