When Pinterest announced last week the ability to create secret boards, there were plenty of oooohs, lots of ahhhhs and a fair share of ewwwwwws.
Why ewwww? Because while there are definitely some NSFW applications for the secret boards, the overall idea is both non-creepy and smart.
Think about what makes Pinterest so popular: We enjoy pinning ideas that are interesting, the types of ideas we want to refer to later for sharing or buying.
Creating a secret Pinterest board is easy. On the website, navigate to the bottom of your profile page and choose "Create a Secret Board." Or, click Add + from the top right corner, choose create a board and flip the button marked secret to on. You can also accomplish this from a mobile device by selecting "create a secret board" from the boards section.
You only get to create three, although you can collaborate with someone else on a secret board and it won't count toward your total.
That's the easy part. The hard part is finding the perfect uses for the secret boards. Luckily, I have a few suggestions.
•Party planning: I'm going to be 40 next month, and my wife, a Pinterest user, is planning something for me. I'm pretty sure whatever it is is the subject of one of her three boards. The secret board makes sense for any kind of event, really, from weddings to shower themes – even date night.
•Gift buying: This is one time I wish Pinterest offered more than three boards, as having one for each person on your holiday list could be most useful. And if Santa uses Pinterest, this could change everything we know about making the list and checking it twice.
•Travel guide: Some people don't mind sharing the places they want to go and/or have been. But sometimes we want to keep the destinations a secret. Maybe you are planning a honeymoon. A private place filled with palm trees and blue ocean definitely doesn't sound like a bad idea.
•Job stuff: Why bookmark when you can pin? Maybe you have a visual job and need a place to store all those great ideas. A Pinterest board makes so much more sense than a long list of bookmarked websites.
Judging by the feedback I'm seeing, Pinterest might have a hit on its hands. The company says it's learning as it goes and is open to suggestions, so contact them if you have an idea you think can make the feature even better.
So Social is a social media tips column by The Tribune Media Group's Amy Guth and Scott Kleinberg. Tweet them at @amyguth and @scottkleinberg.