Private social media: Oxymoron or gap in the market?

Hello, my name is Jo. And I’m a Pinterest addict.

But, if there were one thing that’s quite evidently missing from my favourite social tool’s offering, it’s the ability to go private.

I’m not alone either. Pinterest have responded to their users that, as a sharing tool, allowing for private pinboards isn’t at the top of their ‘to do’ list (or board…), but the rumour mill begged to differ recently with the launch of the digital scrapbook’s new terms & conditions, which seemed to indicate that private pinboards were soon on their way (though all they actually did was add language that would “pave the way for new features” such as private pinboards).

There’s huge demand out there for pinboards visible only to their owners. And this isn’t some sort of Myers-Briggs introversion revolution in the digital sphere, it actually makes perfect sense in terms of user experience in many situations. Consider the surprise birthday party you want to plan, the perfect marriage proposal, or Christmas gift ideas.

For this very reason, competitors and add-ons to Pinterest are emerging that purport to provide this service. For instance, MikeLike – have you heard of it? It’s 100% free (and available by invite only, but that’s easy enough to request). Once you’ve downloaded the MikeLike button, you can use it in conjunction with your Pinterest account to create private pinboards.

Eureka! Finally, I can keep track of the best looking boys in the office under HR’s radar! I’ve requested my invite. So, watch this space to see whether ‘Private Social’ works out or is as nonsense as pinning a tale on a donkey.

(NB: Private Social is entirely different to Social Business, which is private. Think Yammer.)

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