Over the past few months, the most beloved social media site among the bloggers we know and trust, Pinterest, has made some notable changes that have us all scratching our heads. It started with Pinterest querying us on our interests last year, which was soon followed by lots of recommendations for “picked for you” pins that may or not have anything to do with stuff we like.
But recently we realized, sometimes we’re not seeing anything we like at all. In our own feeds.
How is that? Well, we started digging and there seem to be some really odd Pinterest feed changes, that are lessening our experience both as publishers and as searchers–and we’re not the only ones noticing.
So we’ve put together a few tips that can help you get the site somewhat back to the one you fell in love with the first place–along with some reasons why we think it’s never going to be exactly what you want it to be, either.
Are you suddenly following boards that you don’t remember following?
More often than not, I now open up my Pinterest homepage and to be frank, sometimes everything looks like crap. Just the world’s most awful stuff. That’s when I realized that suddenly we were “following” tons of group boards, some with more than 10,000 pinners, and not a whole lot of judicious curation, to put it kindly.
With all due respect to a pinner who created a board featuring 47,863 items carefully curated under the category Everything, it’s boards like these that start to make Pinterest a less valuable place for me to find the things I am looking for.
I know that Pinterest has recently pushed for the creation of more group boards–another mystery change, however “add pinner” is featured prominently at the top of all of your boards now. It’s not for us to say why these boards with literally thousands of pinners exist, because they may be of value to some people.
Also, this is not about me being snobby; you may love hand-crocheted dog slippers that look like cats while I don’t, and that’s really fine.
The real problem, is why is Pinterest auto-following boards for anyone? Or did we somehow opt-in by clicking some interest button without knowing it? Here’s how to fix it.
How to unfollow the stuff in your Pinterest feed that you don’t want to see
Either way, if this seems like it’s happening to you, go to your “following” tab which is to the right of all your stats. Click on “boards” and you may surprised to find boards that don’t bear any resemblance to boards you remember opting in to follow.
Just unfollow those boards and see how much that cleans up your feeds. It doesn’t fix everything with the Pinterest feed changes, but it does help a lot.
Chronological Pinterest feed changes: Weird.
Even if your feed is now showing you more of the kinds of things you want to see, it’s now going to all show up in some random order in your home feed. It’s clear that Pinterest has, for some reason, taken a page from the Facebook playbook (that is, the widely mocked Facebook playbook) and stopped displaying pins in your home feed chronologically.
Maybe this is to help spread out the pins you can see regardless of when you log on? Like maybe you miss your favorite British pinner’s content because she is on in the morning when you’re going to sleep? I’m being benevolent here.
As an example, right now this very second, the first pin on my home feed is a party idea I repinned myself several hours ago. (How cute is that milk and cookies bar!) But why is it first? Is it possible that not a single person we follow has pinned anything even several hours later?
While there are topics like closet organization tips or bedroom paint colors that are evergreen, and it doesn’t matter when I see them, one of the awesome functions of Pinterest is finding ideas for holidays or seasonal topics. So it’s definitely not helpful when they show up at the wrong time.
Right now, I am still seeing Valentine’s Day pins at the top of my feed a two full weeks after Valentine’s Day. Which could just be people really excited for next year. To find out, I click over to that pinner’s pins (try pinterest.com/coolmompicks/pins as an example of how to someone’s pins sorted chronologically) and I realize that the pins showing today in my feed were actually pinned weeks or even months ago–only some bizarre algorithm is feeding it to me now.
That doesn’t make Pinterest valuable for me as a visual search tool. It creates more obstacles to me finding what I need, now.
The only way to fix this is to click over to the pinners you love, with pinterest.com/NAMEOFUSER/pins and then you can see just what they’ve pinned, in order.
Here are the most recent pins from Design Mom, in order, as she intended them. Look! No Valentine’s Day!
Are you seeing fewer pins from the pinners you follow?
I started noticing that a pinner I like, say Liz Stanley, would pin maybe 10 pins in a row but only 2 would appear in my feed at all. To see everything she’s putting up on pinterest, I need to remember to go to her page directly.
It’s frustrating because I followed her for a reason. She’s an amazing curator. Just look!
Instead, what I’m seeing in my feed are lots of pins from the boards I don’t tend to frequent as much. Maybe that’s some way to get me around the site more? Or push different kinds of content in my feed? It can benefit smaller pinners, which I like, but I still want to see the things I actually signed up to see.
There’s a reason I follow Handmade Charlotte and Jordan Ferney and Justin Hackworth and Martha Stewart Living and Traci French–they’ve earned my trust.
And I really hope that those of you who follow Cool Mom Picks feel like we’ve earned your trust too.
But here’s the thing, Traci is up to nearly 4 million followers. Whoa. With numbers like that, you’d think that everything she pins would automatically get a ton of repins. And they used to. Now I’m seeing 6, 25, 88 repins sometimes. The same goes for our own boards. Huge decrease in numbers.
Now that’s not your problem. What is your problem, is that the pins you opted in to see are not being shown to you.
(Facebook deja vu all over again.)
Frankly, it’s frustrating. I want to see Traci’s pins. I chose to follow her. I want to see what Rachel from Handmade Charlotte is pinning. I want to see what Justin is pinning. Instead what I’m seeing are lots of pins “picked for me” though I’m not sure why I can’t just see both.
How to get rid of the pins “picked for you.”
Let’s talk about recommended pins.
[edited to add: Ironically, in 2013, Ben Silbermann spoke to MIT Tech Review about how people are better than algorithms at knowing what people want to see.]
Like you, I’m seeing lots and lots of pins subtly labeled “picked for you” on the bottom left. Some of them are good recommendations, some of them make me wonder if someone back there in Pinterest land is just messing with me.
In fact, here’s a shot from today’s Cool Mom Tech pinterest feed. Aside from our own couple of pins, every single pin in our Pinterest feed with one exception, is “picked for you.”
Does Pinterest not think that we are capable of doing the picking?
(It is in our name, sheesh.)
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to the recos either. Like, yes, I am always looking for really cute baby clothes to share here. And I know cute is subjective, and that one person’s very adorable leopard print baby onesie, is another person’s “did it come with a gift receipt?”
However, right now, it kind of feels like Pinterest is just throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks.
Now sometimes I do get a “picked for you” that’s fantastic and I actually ended up following the board. Like this one here, so, nice job Pinterest. However if you don’t want to see a certain pin that’s recommended for you–and hopefully inform the algorithm of your preferences in the process–you can delete it, only they don’t make it that easy.
At first glance it looks like there’s no way to do it. But aha! Mouse over the pin, and a little X will appear at bottom right. That’s your ticket out.
Pinterest needs to recognize that a whole lot of off-base recommended pins at the top of our Pinterest feeds, automatically devalues Pinterest. I want to open my feed and be inspired.
So what’s going on? The conspiracy theory
Recently, the press has published info about the Pinterest valuation and how they’re about to start earning zillions of dollars and adding new ways to monetize. Which is awesome. We’ve supported the site from the early days, I’ve been impressed with their goals and missions, and I’ve met Ben Silbermann a few times and I’ve always got the impression he’s a really good, smart, authentic guy. I love how the platform has supported small businesses in tremendous ways, and still has the ability to do so.
I also understand that making money means changing a business model. And that doesn’t always benefit current users.
So here’s my theory.
I think that a lot of Pinterest’s changes are made to decentralize influence (so to speak) away from their “power pinners” — those curators with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers.
I think that Pinterest wants Pinterest to tell you what is relevant to you, and not any of the people you follow. It will give them way more control when it comes to feeding users more branded, paid-for content.
It also speaks to why they were willing to risk alienating their fashion power pinners when Pinterest eliminated affiliate links earlier this month and really hurt them financially. They’re instead currying favor with the brands, i.e. the folks with the money.
Retailers like Nordstrom and Anthropologie and J Crew, which reportedly get 23% of their referrals from Pinterest are now even more in play. It’s not hard to see how it’s beneficial for Pinterest to say, hey Anthropologie, you want to sell more stuff? Pay us, not the pinners, and we’ll be sure those pins get seen.
Pinterest is also experimenting with “buy” buttons in another smart business move which would mean that Pinterest gets that affiliate revenue or at least some of it.
This might be lucrative, but it all requires alienating the site’s heaviest individual users and core evangelists.
Just a thought: Pinterest only owns those billions of pages of pins insomuch as the top pinners don’t delete their accounts entirely.
People: People who need people.
Maybe what all these changes come down to is a quote from an article about Pinterest I read recently (ugh I need to find the source, sorry) which had a quote from Silbermann like, people don’t follow people, they follow interests.
I definitely haven’t done the market research they’ve done, but in my gut, that feels like a faulty premise.
People follow the interests they care about from the people they care about.
I can assure you that good curation is really, really hard work. A robot can’t do it, and an algorithm can’t do it.
We put a lot of effort into pinning things from our site and the rest of the web that we think you’ll love. We don’t farm it out to other people–Kristen and I do it ourselves. Sometimes we wake up early to do it. Sometimes we got to sleep late doing it.
I know that the pinners we’ve mentioned here are the same way. They spend their time putting together the best of the best.
In other words, I don’t want to see every single printable on Pinterest, I want to see what Mari of Small for Big is sharing. I don’t just want to see kids’ crafts – I want to see Alpha Mom‘s recommendations for kids’ crafts! And I want to know what Gabby Blair suggests is great design, because it’s going to be more aligned with my own sensibility, than what a group board with 8,462 pinners thinks is great design.
Similarly, we’ve also worked hard to curate the people and boards we follow. So if you click over to our “following” tab, it’s another source of discovery. However if you click over and see a board called Etsy Jewelry Made With Cheap Gold Plate — even and especially if we never followed that board to begin with — then that reflects on us.
So if you want to see more of the stuff from the people you love, you need to bookmark them and visit their boards directly; don’t count on them showing up in your feed when you want them to.
Discovering more of what you love.
I admit I can get annoyed when people complain about changes to social media networks–even though I do it too. The truth is, it’s not your site. It’s someone else’s business, and that’s the risk you take when you put your content on a site you don’t own. Eventually advertisers are going to come which helps support the site so you can keep using it for free.
However I’m wondering how it makes good business sense to feed users content that they have no interest in at all. Not just the sponsored pins, which I understand completely, but the not-at-all sponsored ones. The pins and the recommendations “picked for me” that make me second guess whether Pinterest will continue to be a valuable visual search tool for all of us. Or why they want to define me as a person as the sum of few select categories, and not a complex individual who finds different interests of value at different times or different phases of my life.
I also don’t know how it makes sense to keep my favorite content out of my feed.
In a Forbes article, Pinterest’s own head of operations, Don Faul, said “Pinterest is a place people come to discover things they love.” I’ve also heard Ben talk about how receptive he is to feedback.
So our feedback is this: Right now, we are not loving what we are discovering. We can tweak some settings and X out some pins and do what little we can to make our feeds look beautiful again. But the rest is really in your hands, Pinterest.
Pinterest is beloved. Please don’t break it.
Update, March 4: Pinterest folks have reached out to us about this article, and they are open, listening, and appreciative of the thoughtful, honest comments here. So keep them coming! They are continuing to make changes that will hopefully make the experience better for everyone, and incorporating feedback from users. We’ll keep you posted on any updates or news.
Update, December 12: Is Pinterest listening? Maybe. They convened a group of super pinners to discuss the issues but from the live Periscope feeds we watched, their solutions kept coming back to, “have you tried to pay to promote your pins?” which we know is not helpful for most of you.
According to all of your fantastic, helpful, specific comments below, the “picked for you” pins have only increased; the relevance to your interests has gone done, not up; pinners are seeing fewer posts of those they follow in their feeds. Our own experience has proven that very few of our own pins are getting seen by anyone at all, even with 10,000+ followers. Which makes us inclined to start putting energy elsewhere as well.
If anyone has any other tips or insight we’re all ears.
so glad you wrote this. Its so annoying what they’re doing. But yes, likely because they’re making way for more promoted content (it’s all about monetizing). Hopefully they’ll start to realize that people are frustrated and starting to bail. I’ve already stopped using it as much (and many of my friends have too).
I am having problems here , I look at my recent pins and see many re-pins , but this doesn’t come up in the top right corner under “you” , only if I look them up .
Is this happening to anyone else?
I hate pins that are picked for me like a paid search engine that makes recommendations because I don’t know all the magic keywords. It’s a PINBOARD that I created and am loyal to because I know just what I want to see. If Pinterest wants to be a visual search engine, come right out and say it. We will recreate a different site like old Pinterest. And maybe if some people want recommendations, we will toggle the setting.
This is censure. This is not what we signed up for. Are your followers going to go to your board individually to see what you pin? I hope they re-think this.
For the last several months, I am no longer getting notifications by email. I have everything checked off in my settings to receive them. I have sent several emails and support tickets to them, and have never had an answer. Yep, I have them in my “accepted email” lists. If I want to see if anyone repinned my posts, or followed me, I have to go to my own page to find it. Like someone said, “Facebook deja vu” all over again. I don’t want to waste a lot of time going to my page, and weeding out all the things they have there now. Just like Facebook. Oh, I know the service is free, but, really, they are getting what they need on their websites, CONTENT, that we provide!!!
I do not know where to reply so—- what i noticed today and do not like is that i can no longer send myself a pin to print out. Now they send several pins at the same time and a black box comes up which nearly covers the pin i want, refuses to let me drag to my desktop in order to print. If thus continues i will delete pinterest as it is useless to me this way.
Thank you for posting this. I really thought I was going mad. Since I’m not a regular pinner. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t see ANY of my friends pins anymore. And worse than that there are some pins that clearly are adds that I can’t get rid of. So disappointed, sad and ANGRY. Just sent an email where I vented in a way I really don’t ave a habit of doing…
I do not really pin, I just look at pinterest for inspiration. What has happened? Something has changed in just that last couple of months, that I have noticed. When I click on a pin that I am interested in, it used to open the picture, and over to the right, it would show all the pins of the person that had pinned that particular pic, along with other suggested pins below the pinners section and related pins below the pic-Loved it! Now, it just brings up the pic with related pins below-How boring!!!! Come on, what is going on. How do I get in touch with these people. This used to be one of my favorite past times, but now I don’t much like to look at it anymore, because it is not set up like it used to be.
That’s a great point rebecca. Like we suggested, sounds like they’re really committed to get people away from following curators and more into searching by interest, whether or not the items meet your standards.
Really interesting had been wondering what had happened but not really checked as busy elsewhere did discover that pins from our website to our own boards were showing up as fake links but don’t know where to counteract that such as a ‘no follow’ so had stopped pinning own pins, then noticed our repins had increased (guess Pinterest approved of our new pinning only others with similar content to our own) and thought would try pinning a few from site as otherwise some of our fashion boards are out of date but get message can’t find that file when hitting pin, they obviously don’t want us earning visitors easily either. Hmm Thanks for your insight followed you on Pinterest and also Twitter, Instagram and Google + much preferred places!
If anyone reads this PLEASE pass this along to Pinterest (at least my two main points) because I have tried leaving feedback when I can but maybe it’s just me but Pinterest doesn’t seem to make that easy…..1) since all of these changes I have started using Pinterest less. Plain and simple. I really miss not seeing all my friends’ pins when I sign in….that is all I want. 2) ALSO maybe it would interest them to know that whenever I see a pin from a brand (Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.) I IMMEDIATELY block that company from ever putting pins in my feed… I feel invaded, and leave with a negative “taste in my mouth” toward that company. Why does every tiny little thing revolve around telling us what we need to see…..unfortunately, it will probably be like Facebook…Facebook can do almost whatever it wants because there’s a VERY small liklihood that everyone will suspend their accounts and stop using it until we get what we want back. Thank you very very much.
You took the words right out of my mouth,and better than I could have. It is amazing that the people behind Pinterest do not recognize their communal significance. It is what made them! Monetary is what moves them. Sadly no one recognizes they go hand and hand. They are stripping away at the community bonds that built them. They prefer to court the likes of Amazon. Personally I wouldn´t buy AIR from Amazon if I could not breathe. I probably could not afford shipping! Seeing their name makes me see red. How is that good for Pinterests ‘ monetary goals. Is Amazon going to PIN? Are they going to spread the word about Pinterest’s value to the public? It ‘s uniqueness? Yet they are an example of what is important? Pinners’ know it is not FREE! Once again the public is being underestimated. The internet was not created with only big business in mind. It was suppose to be all encompassing. Pinterest is forgetting who pins and and is there every day.
So amazingly disappointed with the endless changes to Pinterest. Not one of these changes has done anything but ruin what I used to love. Go back to what was great!
We need to start the people’s pinterest. Let’s begin with me. Monetizing means more competition.
Has anyone else noticed Pins stopped showing up in their Facebook feed? All my pins used to show up in my Facebook feed as soon as I pinned them and now the only way my pins show up on Facebook is to click on the Facebook icon and post them in a separate popup window. All these changes are really starting to make me question the value of Pinterest.
All the platform is anymore is sponsored ads, some for things children shouldn’t see. When I want to see maritime history, don’t give me random history pins. It’s not helpful. Also, since when is baby good related at all to fine art? The correlation makes no sense. Pinterest is now just a collection of useless.
Fantastic!, I had just written a complaint about the format and having picks made for me. It’s a mess.
Thank you SO much!!
Maureen Murphy-Baird ?⭐️
So wait, do I have to actually visit pinners’ pages for their pins to show up on my feed? Isn’t that why I follow them in the first place? Drives me nuts – it’s like FB and having to visit the pages I’ve liked to get their posts. Liking them means I want to see their posts! And following a pinner means I want to see their pins. Thank you for this article! I was wondering what was going on with the “picked for you” stuff and had actually stopped going to Pinterest because I wasn’t seeing anything from the people I’ve followed. This was very useful!
Thank you for this article. I was beginning to think it was just me! I was seeing so much “junk” and “clutter” in my feed that I have now stopped going to it and am just going to my own boards to further refine them or visiting my favorite pinners boards. It just feels so much more cumbersome. It’s disappointing to see only a few pins from my favorite pinners and also very maddening that what “was picked for you” I already had pinned! I get the money making thing but this way doesn’t seem to make much sense and takes the enjoyment (or should I say addiction) out of Pinterest.
Half of the ‘recommended for you’ pins are things that I have already pinned! Like a year ago. 😉 So frustrating.
Thanks for this info! I’ve pretty much stopped going to Pinterest, because I never see anything I like in my feed anymore. Such a shame, because it used to be my favorite website for new ideas and projects.
Thank you! My current favorite is pinterest’s insistence on picking pins with toilets, labeled “bathroom” for my kitchen board. Go home Pinterest, you’re drunk.
Great article Liz! I have been a huge, huge fan of Pinterest for years and lately when I’ve logged in I’ve been so disappointed by the pins in my feed. I was wondering if something had changed or if the truly creative pins and pinners I love the most were abandoning Pinterest. I wasn’t sure where to find answers to what had changed. I only know that I’ve been spending less and less time on Pinterest because it doesn’t inspire, amuse, or intrigue me anymore.
I wholeheartedly support their need to monetize the site and get the big return on their investment but they better make sure the service keeps people coming back for more.
I loved your post! When I first met Pinterest, I thought “This is sooo cool!”
I found the concept was so personal, although our boards were open to the world, we pinned for us in first place.
For a long time it had been the first thing I did in my Mac in the morning. I used to visit it many times a day to see new things that I loved, but now my interest is not that big, I see so many things that I don’t like…
(Sorry about my English!)
I agree. Im not impressed with the “picked for you” or “related” pins. I mainly use pinterest to pin stuff from blogs I follow! Sort of like a visual bookmark. Next I want to see the things that people I follow are pinning. If I want to see things from other random people I browse the categores Im interested in. Please Pinterest leave my feed alone! I like it the way it is! If you must add a “sponsored” pin do it like Ink36 does and just add an ad pin occasionally. Please do not give me pins from people I don’t know.
Thank you! Now I’ve deleted all the random picked-for-you pins…my board is so much cleaner 🙂
Thanks for being articulate and fair, as in not whiney. Did you send this to the ones who say they want feedback?
For a while now I was noticing so many awful pins that I hadn’t selected. What’s also weird is I would keep selecting not to follow certain boards and they would keep coming back. Thank you for writing this insightful article – I am so frustrated with Pinterest (my absolute favorite site) and FB, that I downloaded Instagram. Needed a place where I could actually curate my own content that I want to see – I wish Pinterest would stop ruining their site for all of us.
I am loving this post- just LOLed a little at the “everything” board, and while I enjoy some of the pins that are picked for me, I wish there would be a separate tab or somewhere to go see those pins, and still get the feed I was getting before. I haven’t even noticed Pinterest auto-following people for me! That’s just plain evil. Thanks for the post and I’m just gonna go beat Pinterest up now for changing too much.
A separate sidebar for those pins – that’s a great idea Jeanette. I hope the Pinterest folks check out all of your honest, thoughtful, frustrated comments. It’s really helpful.
Everything you have written has indeed happened.
About 40% of the “recommended pin”s are from my own boards, I have mysterious pins from pinners I have no clue who they are, the pins I *do* get are few and far between, the chronology of pins is driving me crazy, and yes, I’ve gone from about 1k repins every day down to 8, 23, maybe 40 on a good day.
So I pinned this article, I wrote “PINNERS PLEASE READ” at the very beginning, followed by the heading your’ve already placed. I’m pinning this on all my group boards and boards that have high followers in hopes the word gets out.
This is seriously frustrating, it feels like betrayal.
That’s so nice Penni, thank you. I hope it helps!
This explains why I haven’t felt like logging into Pinterest lately!
Ok, I’ve also spread the word on FB, Twitter, and via emails to everyone I know who uses Pinterest.
Your article is spot on, thank you SO much!
I have been so frustrated with Pinterest lately and you’ve basically explained why, so thank you. I used to log in and see pins that inspired me and then led me to other inspirations–now when I log-in I have to slog through “picked for you” pins that I am completely disinterested in (or worse, actively dislike). I haven’t seen pins from some of my favorites in while, and I realize now it’s because I haven’t gone directly to their boards–but that’s why I followed them in the first place–so I would see their pins in my feed. I have really viewed Pinterest as one of my top sites for inspiration and ideas, but this feels like such a sell-out. And the worst part is that there isn’t a replacement for what Pinterest was (and still could be if they stopped giving me all those “picked for you” pins).
So I’m actually in the travel blogging niche, but there’s a lot of similarities (we both go to extreme lengths to find awesome stuff, for example)…
While the changes are unwelcome, it’s a reminder that most *everything* done on a social networking site is part of the ‘digital sharecropping’ mindset. Pinterest isn’t seeing a backlash from Facebook’s algorithm changes (people haven’t stopped using Facebook or left the site), which might be emboldening it.
Perhaps the response should simply be a reminder – Pinterest is one discovery tool – but your goal is probably to get people back to your site. Emphasize your website – the thing you control – as the place where people can find more.
Great point Chris, and definitely applicable for us as publishers. But as you can see from the comments here, even more of people use Pinterest for discovery, saving ideas, maybe sharing, and they aren’t bloggers or website publishers. They just want to see the stuff they signed up to see.
Also we’ve thought a lot about the Facebook comparison too–I think the difference is that Facebook is and has always been for social networking. At its core, that’s never changed. If Pinterest was built on visual discovery of the things you love from the people you trust, and now it’s becoming a marketplace to buy the things you love (so to speak) then that’s really different.
What do you think?
Has any body noticed the rise of pornographic images in Pinterest? i had a serious one come up the other day, I found it upsetting. I LOVE Pinterest I’m such a visual learner , this made me feel like an old friend hid punched me in the face! And I let my children use it and now I cant. They need to introduce a report as inappropriate.
Yes, Tracey, I have noticed the rise of pornographic images! Terrible to be on such a “family-friendly” site. I agree Pinterest should be informed about this – a “report as spam” button?
Oof Katherine, I’ve never seen that. But you x out to delete it and above it a little box comes up asking you why. Just check off “this was offensive to me.”
Oh my word. Tracy. Thank you. I wondered where these pictures search were coming from. I also found it upsetting. I reported one and got a reply saying it hadn’t breached any laws so wouldn’t be removed. This was a while ago. I came to pinterest just for inspiration. Does seem full of ads now. Was wondering what was going good on. This article gas been so useful
I have a small slot of time that I devote to pinterest. It’s become smaller. It used to be a place I’d go, to quickly scroll for inspiration. Not that I may have actually been using any of the ideas but I loved my feed and loved looking at the beautiful things people I followed had done or pinned.
It is too frustrating to use the little time I’ve allotted to un-pin and un-follow things I never asked for. It is easier to just not go at all. I understand changes must come but there are good changes and bad changes and these seem to be the latter.
Thank you for making it clearer as to why it is happening.
I stopped using Pinterest over a year ago and I won’t be back. Despite that I still get messages telling me that “so&so” loves my latest Pin which I haven’t pinned or is following me etc etc. They started with a great idea and couldn’t resist tinkering with it in the name of progress I guess – sad – a great idea ruined.
Thank you! I’ve read dozens of articles about the new Pinterest feed, but none with any solutions. This is helpful, and I will be trying to clean up my feed with your tips. The changes have been a disappointment. I have continued to oin things, but I rarely scroll through my feed anymore. I hope that they will continue to tweak the algorithms so that we see more of what we want!
Really glad to help Sara. I hope they fix it too. Like I mentioned, this is a beloved site. Users have actively evangelized for it. Unlike with changes to other social networks, the disappointment with Pinterest seems to be really personal for its users.
Great article. I think the idea of Pinterest making money is totally fine, and Ben is a perfectly nice guy, but I hope they do it in a way that is fair to the image/content creators. As commercial photographers and bloggers, we sell our photography. When people pin our images, we’ve always felt a little funny about the copyright, but rolled with it. As long as people were using it for personal use, and we were getting page views on our blog, we learned to be ok with it. Now that people can pay to promote content that they may or may not own the copyright to, I think that starts walking a shaky line. For instance I saw one of our images come up in the ‘picked by you’ in MY feed cause I pinned it. It lead to a scraper site that took all the images of our house tour and had a bazillions ads, so they were clearly making money. I hope Pinterest makes companies account for the content they are promoting and confirm they actually own the copyright for the images. If we see someone paying to promote their business with our image, it’s advertising and cause for copyright infringement. I’ll get off my soap box now! But, wow, does this latest change to Pinterest make me think a little.
Thank you Susan, that is such an important point about copyright.
We’ve worked really hard to be sure we’re only pinning/repinning to sources that credit the original creator, and avoid “uploaded by user” pins. You have no idea how many hours I’ve spent on TinEye trying to track down original sources.
In fact just yesterday I found a cute recommended pin–a set of printables–but on closer inspection, it linked to a tracked URL for a spammy site that sold mattresses or something. They didn’t even have that image on the site; it was just someone along the way who uploaded good photos and changed links.
Don’t get off the soapbox! Copyright infringement is something worth shouting about.
Another thing that really helps is turning off these 2 options under Account Settings:
“We sometimes show you Promoted Pins and recommendations based on your activity on Pinterest. Is it okay if we:
Also use sites you’ve visited recently?
Also use info from our ad partners? ”
For me turning that off made all the difference.
Thanks Camilla, we have always had the “info from ad partners” setting turned off. When we turned off the other setting–which is more about cookies that track your visits to sites with PinIt buttons (like ours, presumably)–we didn’t actually see much of a change. In fact, it’s not showing any recommended pins from sites I’ve visited at all besides maybe Etsy. But I’m glad to hear it helped you!
This all makes so much sense to me now. Thank you!!!!
Hi Liz. My problem is I can no longer get to the home page. It takes me to a board and I can never look at my pins or boards or anything but recipes.so I can’t search for anything. I have emailed them with no response. If they want us to use their site why not have it useable to find the things you want and pin the things you want plus find your boards and pins……Rrrrrrrrr
thank you for writing that! I would be fine with a few sponsored posts in my feed (especially if they were relevant) but I want to see the pins of the people I am following otherwise why bother? I hope they listen!
Wow yours is WAY worse than mine! My picked for you ratio isn’t that high and it’s really well curated (BUT that’s cause 1/2 of the picked for you’s I already have pinned). The chronical thing really irritates me, yes, I completely think FB. If I want to waste an hour on Pinterest I have to find things to search since my feed won’t have new things :-/ sigh
Thank you for writing this. I hadn’t really thought much about Pinterest, I just noticed that it’s not really a site I have been turning to in the last…I don’t know how long. I use it to catalog and organize things I want to save, and I have been visiting the ‘pins’ of some individual users I especially enjoy, but I have not really bothered scrolling through my home feed in quite some time now. Whenever I did open the app I would feel pretty underwhelmed by what I saw and after a while I noticed that the ‘picked for you’ pins nearly outnumbered the pins I’d chosen to see. Now I only go to Pinterest to check the individual activity pages of certain pinners, but it’s too time-consuming to do that for everyone I’m following, so I’m missing a lot of content. I think it says a lot that I’d rather just miss all that content from people I’ve chosen to follow, than scroll through the seemingly endless pins that Pinterest has for some reason decided to show me. I mean, honestly, scrolling through my Pinterest feed feels sort of like shopping at a thrift store now – there are some gems but a lot of it is just totally not what I’m looking for.
This piece was really helpful to read, if only just to let me know that I’m not alone. I thought that maybe the concept just wasn’t working as well anymore for some reason but it is sort of encouraging to know that that’s not necessarily the case – ie that it may be possible for changes to be made or for another site to step in and offer a better user experience.
I know that the risks of “investing” your time and ideas in an experience that depends on a platform owned by someone else are definitely many, and Pinterest doesn’t “owe” its users anything. It just seems like a fast track to obsolescence, to make your platform so cumbersome and essentially useless. I think it has to get pretty unfulfilling before it reaches the point of driving users away, but I think Pinterest is fast approaching that point for me. As a user it’s a bummer because it means that you have to switch over to the next platform that comes along, which is always a pain – I think most people are happy and complacent enough to stay loyal to their chosen platform unless it really stops working for them. But Pinterest is pretty close to being totally useless for me at this point. I already set up an ITTT path to automatically duplicate my pins into Evernote, since as long as I am solely using Pinterest just as a personal catalog and reference, it is easier to search and access my information in Evernote than Pinterest anyway.
This is a great article. I’d add that after you choose to remove a pin from your feed, Pinterest puts a box asking you why you removed that pin. Remember to answer that question! It should help clean up your feed even more (in theory).
All these changes have meant I spend a lot less time on Pinterest. It’s sad for me because I really enjoyed browsing before and I don’t anymore.
I should add that I CANNOT unfollow group board that Pinterest has made me follow. When I unfollow them, and the refresh the page, a whole new bunch comes up. Also, I cannot get the list of the pinners I follow, because that list is buried amidst a ton of suggestions of who I should follow.
Thank you so much for this article. I am a very early Pinterest user. I have experienced everything you describe here. An extreme example: A year or two ago, I had “followed” Anthropologie, a brand I like, probably around the same time they joined the site. I recently had to “unfollow” it because literally 95 percent of my feed had become Anthropologie — although not necessarily posts just uploaded or pinned by the brand. I wonder if the brand even knows this was happening? As for Pinterest refusing to show pins, I’m guessing this is so they can get pinners to pay to have them shown. This is the same thing Facebook does. Anyway, this is a mess. I agree with one of the above commenters: I don’t mind a few sponsored posts in my feed (like, say, four a day) as long as they’re clearly identified and I’m seeing all the pins in my feed.
Maybe it’s time to stop window shopping on Pinterest and use it like a search engine.
Hi Anne-Marie, Thanks for your comment. To some degree, I would love nothing more! Have you tried a search on Pinterest lately? Right now, a simple search for diaper bags brings up: A pacifier sterilizer, a portable high chair, a tea tree balm, an expired Valentine’s Day sale on bags, some random nursery decor, a recipe for homemade diaper wipes, pantry organization tips using recycled Coffee-Mate containers for breakfast cereal, and sprinkled among the results…some actual diaper bags.
I would LOVE to be able to use Pinterest more for search! I just think a solid search algorithm, while getting better (somewhat) has yet to be the site’s strong suit. If Pinterest wants to get into the visual search business (which based on the comments here doesn’t seem exactly what their users want), they are entitled to do that, but then there’s a lot of work to be done to get even close to what Google image search can offer–much of which are pins, by the way.
Yes, a million times yes! The new pinterest feed makes me want to abandon ship.
Well much as some of these changes are annoying, primarily I use pinterest for me. I don’t follow much at all as I am not interested in seeing what other people like cluttering up my front page. I usually pin from things I see on the internet or I will do a search on pinterest. I don’t pin thinking will other people like it? I don’t try to pander to anyone else’s tastes except my own. It is my tool and just for me. I enjoy pinning and it is not a chore. The fact that other people have ulterior motives and are looking to make money from pinning one way or another, is precisely why it is now being messed with, so if people think they are manipulating tastes and influencing people then they are partly to blame for the changes. I am personally less affected than most as I only pin crafts. As simple as that. Not interested in anything that comes from a known shop or brand. So no money will ever be made from me in that respect, if it is an item to be purchased it will be from etsy.
I will say that the ‘picked for you’ feature drives me mad. It doesn’t always work getting rid of them either when you click on the cross. Not even when you get asked why you don’t want it and I tell them it’s because it doesn’t interest me. I also never understand how because I like one item someone pinned, I am meant to share their taste. I rarely do. I find I use pinterest lots less these days than I did, because at first I pinned all the things but now they are all done, it is only every now and then I see something new and pin worthy. Also everything on pinterest is already on the internet. Everything good is always spoiled. Changes are never improvements. Flickr has been ruined, etsy has been spoiled and is a nightmare with their choices for you apparently based on your favourites but with a feed full of things nothing like them, I don’t like Facebook and never have. Everything has a golden age which passes. Pinterest’s was not long it seems. They are going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg if they continue this way.
I hadn’t been on PINTEREST lately – [“Real” Life!] – but had popped on last week and was bewildered by ALL of the ANTHROPOLOGIE pins of “clothes”..? – I’m in Canada, we don’t have the store here. And I had “followed” Them because of the “COOL” things They *used* to pin. I really didn’t know about Their “Closet”… Thought I’d walked into a SEARS Catalogue! — Anyhoo, I’ve since purged those bad boards!
Meanwhile, as great as many of the “picked for you” pins are on my account, there are a LOT… My Internet DATA PLAN is “limited” — [TAKE NOTE PINTEREST if you are reading this!] — so grazing through stuff NOT from *MY* List does eat away at my data allotment. Perhaps a Button “on the side” with those “picks”, to use WHEN *I* want to would be MUCH better..??
To be honest, I’m not surprised that “this” crap is happening. PHOTOBUCKET got mutilated a couple of years ago as well… My Main Album was nice and pretty. Now it’s surrounded by data-chewing pop-ups and other garbage! – I suppose my first “clue” should have been when They [& PINTEREST] started adding in logging-entries *via* FB & TWIT [& Everybody else’s phishing-party!] on the “SIGN-IN” window. — I don’t mind TWITTER, but FB is pretty much “ID-Theft 101” as far as I’m concerned! – [FYI – Anyone who puts their *actual* D.O.B. on There or any other “SOCIAL” Media, ought to smacked upside the head with a really big hard “cookie”! – #justsaying]
Maybe it’s me, but it seems that ALL of our Social “Networks” are being assimulated – [I’m about to “date” myself here] – by the “LOGAN’S RUN” Demographic these days. And, Anyone old enough to remember “DOS” need not apply…
For me, Pinterest was a revelation. It enabled me to conceive of a new way to sell online that relied on images instead of searchable terms. In fact, my shop would not be here today without Pinterest. So I have a vested interest in the site. And reading this article distresses me. At the same time, I am seeing more and more traffic from Instagram, which seems to be resisting the commercial pull and which still retains the thing we all love and value, a simple feed. One that is chronological. One that is filled with users we choose to follow. One that is free of the algorithms that gummed up Facebook. So while we watch Pinterest experiment, my advice is this: get thee to Instagram!
Good point Mithra. Thanks for speaking on behalf of a small retailer.
But keep in mind, Instagram’s huge growth is recent…and they are owned by Facebook. Don’t count on it remaining exactly as it is over the long term. As with all social media sites, eventually they will need to find a way to monetize and make good with their investors.
Hi Liz, it’s about ten days since I posted the comment about Instagram and you warned that eventually, we would see similar changes on IG to monetize the site. Today, IG announced clickable links on ads. So yes, you are quite right!
Thanks for checking back in, Mithra.
I bet Shops Will see limited traffic now as people don’t find things as easily. Half the time when I click on a something like, let’s say a bench, it doesn’t show all the similar pins below it anymore like it used to. That means we have to continue click, read, press back, click, read, press back… It’s a waste of time. It would be nice if theyd talk with shops about a sales commission, instea,d of ruining handmade shops chance for business. Why not give an option for basic pins and business pins. For business they collect a fee from shops, like etsy for verified purchases in order to keep things running smoothly – like $.50-$1.00.
Why on earth would a person need to see a baby onesie set for sale while searching DIY crafts?.. Its a pain.
YES. Everything you said. I especially hate the “picked for you” stuff that is totally whack and nothing like I want to see. I also really hate when they suggest stuff I might like that I already have pinned. Like you, I am very particular about who I follow because I trust their taste. I need more of that. Thank you for this post!
Agreed. You’ve said it all. I’m so glad they are listening!
Thanks so much for writing this. I was late to the Pinterest party because I feared yet another time sink. When I finally signed up a few months ago, I just couldn’t figure out WHY people were so in love with it. I kept going back to the site, figuring that the learning curve was why I didn’t understand the attraction but that wasn’t it. Your article is illustrative of what I kept running into. After a month, I just stopped going back.
Exactly. I find myself going to Pinterest less and less, and it makes me sad.
The new “picked for you” thing is frustrating. I’d like it if Pintrest gave me a couple recommendations, but then let the rest of my feed be the boards/people I follow.
It might also be nice if there was a “how did we do?” link on the “picked for you” items. This way I can tell Pinterest if I loved it or hated it and why.
Sara, if you do click “hide this pin” it will ask you if you want to give feedback about it, at which point you can say you hid it because it was either irrelevant, offensive, or you’ve seen it before.
Unfortunately that leaves choices like “butt ugly” which I feel like I want to choose most of the time.
The genius behind Pinterest was that control belonged to the individual. It was our choices, our interests, our own deciding to hop, skip, and jump into wonderful new boards and topics. That’s gone. I hate the manipulation I feel whenever I see the “picked for you” pins. It makes me want to spend less time at the site, and much as I have loved it, consider opting out entirely. When someone else develops a Pinterest-like site that will allow me to have what I used to have with Pinterest minus the creepy, Big Brother-like feeling I now have that someone is tracking all my interests and using them to exploit me, I will jump without looking back.
Pinterest, the answer is not to spend more time and money making the pins closer to mine or more relevant to my interests. I’m smart enough to know I’m being played. The answer is to return to your spectacularly successful original format and stop playing with it. At the very least, dial way back with the “picked for you” pins. One in 20 and I didn’t notice. One in five and I’m disgusted.
I so wish the pins were still chronological. I hate that they’ve changed it to be more like a Facebook feed where they’re curating the information for us. I liked Pinterest because *I* got to curate the information and follow the feeds I wanted to follow
I would like it if they at least made it optional for chronological vs this new set up. I feel like I miss a lot of pins and I see the same stuff over and over again. I used to scroll through my Pinterest feed until I hit where I started the day before I can’t do that any more.
Yup, we don’t want them to tell us what we like, we are the ones that know best what we like! If our likes/pins need to be monetized, we will tell you through our pins what will sell best. Put stuff on my feed that I’m not liking that much (or at all)? I get annoyed. It really doesn’t make me buy things. It’s “advertising…. you’re doing it wrong”. Once upon a time advertising was finding out what your market wanted and going for that.
Thank you! I’ve been frustrated with Pinterest as of late and this explains so much. As long as they are listening, an easy way to search our pins and boards would also be nice….
Thanks so much for a thorough — and HELPFUL — post. I discovered that I was following more than 400 people I’ve no interest in. No wonder my feed was full of “how to make $15,000 a month blogging.” The thought has never crossed my mind so was super curious to know why Pinterest thought it would be a good career choice for me, or perhaps my alter ego. Now I am back to the real me, thanks to your tips.
The one that groups them and puts them out of order has been the most frustrating for me and sad to see that not even a super-pinner knows how to fix it. I really want to keep it chronologically by the pinners I am following.
My method for getting out of the “picked for you” is to break the algorithm that picks things for me. X out of them and then tell them that they aren’t relevant or are offensive. I am offended that they think they know better than I do.
And, I disagree completely that I follow interests not people. I only follow pinners that I know or research before buying in and I will sometimes unfollow certain of those boards i find tedious.
I used to love scrolling through my feed every night before bed — it was such a calming ritual. Now I actually despise it because my feed is full of crap I don’t want to see, nor do I want to repin it because I, too, am a careful curator. I’ll try implementing the changes you suggested, but I’m not optimistic the experience will change with the way Pinterest algorithms are set up.
My biggest pet peeve is seeing stuff I’ve already pinned on my feed. Um, I’ve already pinned them, thanks. I don’t need to see them again.
Bottom line, Pinterest, is that the more you become like Facebook the less interested I’m going to be. Give me back control of my own pins and interests or I will stop being a loyal fan. I’m willing to bet I’m not alone.
Great article. Without sounding like a massive bore, I’ve just emailed Pinterest to “voice” my annoyance. I’m not a small business, just a pinner who enjoyed pinning and being re-pinned. These changes have made me feel utterly useless, just another number to boost Pinterest’s stats. Big shame for them as many of us will move away to the next big thing…whatever that may be.
I thought my Pinterest was broken. I used to know when certain pinners pinned certain things and went in on those days and pinned loads of things. I also had loads of regulars who repinned my things. They don’t any more. I hate the new way pinterest is doing things. I don’t really want to see all my pins in my feed. I want to see the people’s pins from boards I have followed. That’s why I followed them!! To have to go into hundreds of boards to see what people have pinned because pinterest has changed things will take far too long and is a huge step back into the dark ages for me! I want a service that brings me the new pins from the people I follow! Yes, some pins for you are great, but nearly all the pins I see are picked for me and mine! I will just stop using pinterest if nothing is changed to be honest. I thought it was broken and they hadn’t bothered to fix it!
What a wonderful article! The new changes have been frustrating to me too. Cleaned up my feed and things got a bit better but my pins are sure less seen. I also own a few popular group-boards and I had to ask my contributors to pin even less so my own pins wouldn’t get buried, not sure if I even want to continue having contributors . Another thing I have a problem with it that I seem to get added to boards I didn’t even get an invite from and I can’t opt out either! They do not show in my boards list though but I get notifications in my mail saying that someone added a pin to my board, a board I have never even seen, from a person I do not even follow and often a board with unrelated pins, like it says Jewels and it is food instead! I sure hope things get better for us all again! I have spent lots and lots of time to get where I am at right now on Pinterest and would find it sad if all my effort goes to waste.
Have a great Easter weeked~
I can not thank you enough for writing this. I had started hating Pinterest because of all the random gunk in my feed. After reading this, I was able to get it cleaned back up and start seeing pins from the people I ACTUALLY wanted to follow.
You are amaze-balls. Thank you again.
Thank you so much for this post. I am so disappointed in Pinterest now. It used to be, for me, a way to just listen to music and pick up pins and follow those following me.
Now, it is just one big mess. Every time I go back now, I don’t like it.
Pretty soon, if it doesn’t get corrected, I’ll probably just drop it.
Liz, +1000 to you for this. What is making me really REALLY mad is all the “picked for you” religious/bible quotes. Every single one I delete and mark as “offensive”, and I still keep getting them. WTF Pinterest?! I’m an atheist!
I didn’t read through all the comments, but I hope Pinterest does! I used to check Pinterest multiple times a day, more than my email or facebook. Now I log in like once a week, if that, because my feed is so cluttered by “picked for you” and promoted crap. I don’t mind the occasional promoted pin, but I barely see anything from my picks anymore. And even pins from people I follow are getting worse, because I think most of them have dropped out of Pinterest too.
So sure, maybe you’re making more money. But everyone is leaving. So…not sure how that’s going to work out.
There is only ONE way I use Pinterest anymore, and that’s to look at my own boards. But I need to make a backup of that somewhere else, before they screw that up too. If they mess that up, I will be gone from Pinterest forever.
I agree wholeheartedly. I already get emails from pinterest in which they recommend pins and/or boards that I might want to follow. I often look at those and sometimes follow their recommendations. But that they have now infiltrated my feed … and with SO MUCH uninteresting clutter … I might have to give up pinterest. It’s just not fun anymore.
I used to go on pinterest at least a half hour every day to unwind, sometimes more, and up to a few hours on the weekend.
I’m down to literally a few minutes once per week when I need to find a recipe I already have pinned in order to make the grocery list.
I’m vegan and half my home feed is now Honey Glazed Salmon and Beef & Broccoli dishes. Really Pinterest? If I wanted to wade through the 99.9% of recipes that don’t apply to me, I would go to the Everything or the Food & Drink pages! And even the ones that are vegan, 99% of them, I am not interested in at all. Oh wait, I don’t follow people, I follow interests. My bad, Ben. Apparently I do like them but I just hadn’t realized it yet. Thank you for informing me of what I like! Wow, that one quotation is enough to make me want to delete my account right now.
I just don’t get it. I guess it’s just typical human greed. I mean, you have a site that’s wildly successful, that people love, that there’s nothing else like in the whole of the internet, surely, you must be making some money on it right? But no, you have to make more and in the process, ruin everything that the site was based on?
The second another viable visual bookmarking site that allows human-based social interaction is available, I will be deleting my Pinterest account and moving on. Shame that they ruined what was once such a great thing.
Great article … I’ve changed from really enjoying sharing and exchanging my Scottish and Italian stuff and chatting with my followers, whist accumulating 100 new followers a day.. To…. seeing next to nothing I either need , want or am interested in , and losing 20 followers a day, because no one can see my posted pins , unless they specifically go to the Group boards. I have formally raised this as a problem with their support people and the answer returned was…..
” As long as you’re able to find things that interest you, Pin them to your boards, and learn more about those things to try them in real life, we don’t think this change in activity takes away from your personal Pinterest experience.”
So Pinterest as a business does not believe that these changes have made us unhappy …. Despite my feedback saying that I’m very unhappy , and basically like a lot of the people here , I am slowly beginning to hate pinterest.
Wow Will, thanks for sharing that. I can only tell you that the people from Pinterest I’ve talked to have been really receptive and responsive. But that form letter? Ouch. They need to rethink that. To respond to a legitimate complaint by telling you just what does or doesn’t “take away from your personal Pinterest experience” is wildly presumptuous and arrogant.
Ended my account today, to much “junk mail”, no longer relaxing, enjoyable, just a source of constant irritation.
If Pinterest were really listening, we wouldn’t still be seeing “picked for me” pins. Instead of at least leaving the option to “stop showing me pins based on this board” they have made it even harder to unclutter my home feed. I spend more time clicking to hide a pin picked for me than I do even looking at feeds that I have actually followed. If pinterest were actually paying attention, they would notice that when someone I follow creates a board called “hair”, I unfollow that board. Instead, I have to hide 20 or so pins ABOUT hair. Really? If I don’t want to see it from people I follow, I don’t want to see it from pinterest either. Please, pinterest, PLEASE give me the option to show pins picked for me, or not.
Strongly dislike Pinterest now!!! Most of my feed is not me & not mine! It was beautiful before. Now, it is like I click on something expecting to be linked with friends and loved ones and instead recognize no one & seldom like any of the choices. I find myself on there less and less.
I just went in and unfollowed 80% of my boards. They were not boards I had followed. What stops pinterest from refollowing them?
On the off chance that someone from Pinterest actually IS listening (though I have my doubts, based on the fact that there is no way to send feedback to them), I will add my voice. I don’t even look at my feed anymore because literally half of the pins are “picked for you.” I don’t click on them out of principle, even if they do come up with something good every once in awhile. Back with the “related pins,” there was a workaround to avoid seeing them (pinterest.com/following), but they took that away. I can’t figure it out: what’s the point of carefully curating who and what you want to follow if they clog it up with leopard print onesies?? I didn’t even realize they’d changed the chronological feed until I read it here, but that explains why I haven’t seen so many of the pins pinned by pinners I follow (haha). Seriously, it makes me sad. I only use Pinterest now to look at my own pins and completely avoid the social media aspect of it. If pinterest had a few ads or sponsored pins, I’d be okay with that. If Pinterest offered “picked for you” pins as a service that you could turn on and off at will, I’d be okay with that, too. But as it stands, I hate it. Pinterest is dead to me.
I agree with a lot of things you have said. Another annoying new feature is the Open button which arrows you to open a page inside Pinterest. If it worked well it would have been wonderful but it doesn’t. It is slow and take so much time that I just bypass that.
I for one don’t follow people, I follow interest. I do this but searching for items. For e.g I search for white jeans and then look up all the pins I find interesting.
agreed so much with this post, and you explained the changes very well. I had noticed the non-chronological stuff going on and honestly thought pinterest had a bug or something. I don’t like logging in and seeing something in my feed I posted yesterday, it makes me feel like I’m looking at yesterday’s pins. I’m off to check my “following” boards- I wouldn’t have thought to check that, thanks!
just googled to find this article as i was noticing that i have had very few new pins to my feed lately despite following 1000+ people.
pinterest – i used it for trends research.
now it is somewhat useless and i have to figure out how to replace it? bloglovin’, instagram etc etc.
i put a lot of time in to carefully following very influential pinners.
this is the most brutal change i’ve ever seen on a social media site. no quick way to reverse this change and just see the pins i signed up to see?
Why does pinterest feel it’s ok to follow boards on our behalf? I found they had subscribed me to several boards that I don’t remember following. Is this legal?
it just keeps going with this. i’m checking out my feed tonight – and despite having unsubscribed from an anthro board (that i don’t remember subscribing to in the first place) and not following the person who pinned it – this specific pinner’s anthro picks are showing up in my feed.
they are not marked sponsored, or picked for you. shouldn’t they be? on fb things always are.
i continue to question the legality of this.
i’m wondering if there is a bigger story here – if perhaps this should be taken to the huff post or similar? by the number of comments here i think this is a story that needs to get out.
Amy that’s a great point. Legally, I think that yes, per FTC guidelines a sponsored “picked for you” pin needs to be clearly labeled. If it’s just a random “picked for you” pin based on their algorithm then no.
It wasn’t even marked “picked for you” but it was anthro. A store I love, but one that is incessantly clogging up my feed in strange ways…. 🙁 I still love pinterest but I’m so grumpy about the changes that as soon as another similar type site gets popular – I’ll be there instead.
Thanks for your honest thoughts Amy. As you can see, it seems to be pretty unanimous.
It makes us all sad. I hate when something that’s not broken gets “fixed” by money guys.
I googled my pinterest complaint and it led me to you! (after a bunch of worthless pinterest articles).
My feed rarely features people I follow. It is almost soley clogged with anthropologie (many times multiple repeated images) and “picked for you.”
Due to these reasons I now only go on pinterest if I want to search something.
So sad. I miss the old pinterest!
I also find it really frustrating to have Pinterest “auto-follow” boards that I don’t want. I think the “picked for you” pins have actually been pretty spot on — but PLEASE do not follow boards for me that I don’t want. I’m a guy and I’m NOT interested in women’s fashion or jewelry from Anthropologie — STOP ADDING ME TO THESE BOARDS. It’s making me hate these brands as well as Pinterest.
To be honest the way you have explained the feed works is a massive relief for me. Some days I pin 100 or more pins without realising it. 5 min here or there and it soon adds up. I was worried people who follow me would be getting 100 pins to scroll through and it was making me self conscious about pinning. I love that I don’t have to consider that now. I was gonna make my boards secret so I could pin to my hearts content but I often find boards I like from people who follow me so im glad pinterest are doing it this way. Would be great if they could give us a favourite pinners section so we could visit their pages more easily.
I used to love browsing pinterest because I only followed my facebook friends and I loved to see what they were pinning and when. I really wish my feed would go back to showing me what they’re pinning. If I wanted to find things I’m interested in, I’d do a search for it. I don’t want it in my feed!
I was following over 100 pinners and boards. There’s now 7 in my collection. WHERE ARE THE OTHERS???? I have lost the people and boards i was following for years now and i don’t the name of most of them. I was just adding them when i came across stuff i liked but now it’s all gone. I would have to go back in my own boards and check at everything i repined to find them back. It’s killing me and it makes me want to run away from this site. I’m verry discouraged right now…
There’s this nifty little app that removes “picked for you”. Get it and drag it into your bookmarks toolbar. Once installed click as your home feed scrolls and Voila! All gone. Doesn’t get rid of Promoted By though… You’ll have to “x” those out yourself.
Where do I get this app!? I really need it – my picked for you pins are all graphic images of Nazi war atrocities and war dead. I have no clue why! I have mailed 18 times with no response and clicking “don’t show me pins inspired by…” and consistently reporting every pin as not interesting or offensive has done nothing.
They have ruined Pinterest for me.. Between not seeing pins from the boards I followed and the picked for you pins, it’s just aggravating to even look at anymore… It used to be great
This is such a fantastic article and thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights. I think you are right on when you mentioned that you suspect Pinterest is basically trying to de-influence it’s influencers. It makes complete sense and it eliminates the brand competition for $$ as Pinterest looks to monetize.
Here is what is really happening, bloggers like me are now seeing that can no longer drive traffic to their sites like they used to via Pinterest because Pinterest is not showing those pins to all of our followers and de-influencing us. Because of this, bloggers are using the platform less and less and focusing on building influence on other platforms. I rarely use Pinterest now as a blogger because I can no longer drive my own traffic like I use to and I can’t see the images of the people I followed. It’s now just a feed full of junk now and just as quickly as I open it up, I shut it down.
If Pinterest doesn’t change this soon and go back to giving people what they want to see, give blogger’s back their influence, bloggers and consumers will no longer use it and it’s going to fail. Period.. The decline has already begun many months ago and a lot of the bloggers in my niche have stopped using and are completely focused on Instagram. It’s really a shame that it’s now way too much work to find inspiration even though we spent several years slowly curating and finding the pinners who inspire us. Why use it now when we can no longer see those pins in our feed?
Yes, what Cyndy said, even though I’m not trying to drive traffic at all. I’m not that kind of blogger. I blog only for my own historical record and if anyone wants to follow along … great. But all of the business of blogging aside, as someone who has enjoyed (nay, LOVED) Pinterest just for finding inspiration and information in a visual way and for keeping useful folders (boards) for my own use (and great if someone wants to follow those, too), I hardly use it now. It’s boring and I don’t feel the sense of community there that I once did. Probably because my community has been quietly destroyed. I don’t get any “connection” there any more. I’ll soon move on if things don’t improve soon. It might be too late already.
Really nice article. I am completely frustrated with Pinterest these days. I just got done hopping out of there again after going in to see if maybe anything was interesting, but nope. It’s just a bunch of obvious, desperate attempts to try and sell me something in a roundabout way. I used to love Pinterest for the visual splendor, and the ability to find and follow people. Now it’s just about advertising, and that will ruin Pinterest, and nobody will come to play there anymore.
I couldn’t agree with you more Dottie! Every few days I go to Pinterest in the hopes that something has changed for the better. Nothing, nada, nope!
A site I used to spend hours on (seriously…it was an addiction) now can’t keep my interest for 10 minutes. It feels like all I see are product pushers and it quickly makes me angry.
I really appreciated Liz’s article, it felt like someone finally came out and said what all of us have been feeling.
Now if only we could find someone that will create a retro pinterest site…
Thank you for this post!! I was seeing all sorts of stuff I had no interest in. 🙂
I absolutely detest the “Picked for you” pins. I want to see the things people I chose to follow are pinning. My feed is clogged with these pins, and they are rarely anything I’m interested in seeing. I am spending less and less time on Pinterest because of this. I know I am not alone. Many of my friends have discussed this with me as well. I understand the need to advertise, not that I like that, either. But, I really can’t stand the “Picked for you” pins. There seems to be no reason for them!
We’ve created a free Google Chrome extension that automatically hides “promoted” and “picked-for-you” pins, and then dynamically re-arranges your home feed. Try it out at StopPromotedPins.com. If we get good user feedback on this, we’ll extend it to a standalone Android and iOS Pinterest browser for mobile devices.
Let us know if this works for you.
THANK YOU for this article. I learned of this add-on through one of the comments on this article. I downloaded it and it WORKS. It doesn’t solve every Pinterest problem, but it does block promoted and “picked for you” pins as promised. http://www.stoppromotedpins.com/
Now, if only I could find an add-on to help me get my OWN pins back into my home feed….
Hi, Liz! I couldn’t agree with your comments more. Especially earlier this year, and occasionally still, I see a flood of “Picked for You” pins in my feed that have little to no relevance for me. I will say it has improved over time, and I have begun to see more of the topics that truly interest me. But I had no idea about Pinterest adding boards to those I follow – thanks for the heads up! I’m going to have to go check that now.
If you want to see just the pins from people you follow, and no “Picked for You” or “Promoted” pins, my business Pin4Ever has a “Clean Home Feed” tool which makes this possible. The pins you don’t want to see just disappear from your feed. You can try it out with Pin4Ever’s one week free trial, if you’d like.
Thank you so much for the tips, and for simply sharing the knowledge that it isn’t just me with a messed up feed – but how do I get rid of pins from a board that I’m not following, that doesn’t appear anywhere I have control over, and which doesn’t have a clickable ‘x’ no matter how long I hover? If I see another pin that starts with a number (4 ways, 5 tips, 7 hints, 12 steps, 34 secrets… Those people, Veronica Partridge, Michael Somethingorother… at ‘Positive Thinking’ can’t even get creative enough to mix it up a little) I shall be forced to stop looking at Pinterest and actually go and recreate some of the fabulous ideas I was once allowed to see.
Pinterest for me used to be a delightful indulgence, a treat, a visual sanctuary.. Now my feed looks like a naff self help convention, and I haven’t bought a self help book in my life.
Thanks for addressing all of my confusion and questions (and some I hadn’t even considered) in this well written and thoughtful article. I used to love Pinterest but now, for all the reasons you have discussed here, I find it a little boring and annoying. If things don’t change soon, I will easily abandon it and choose to use some other tool for keeping track of my interests visually. It’s too bad because I have really loved pinterest for both storing and for finding things that interest me. I hope something will be done that will make pinterest fun again.
GREAT article!!! I saw your comment this morning on the Pinterest page on FB. I too USED to LOVE Pinterest. Spent hours on the site without even realizing the time had passed me by. Not anymore. I RARELY browse my homepage anymore. I noticed the x option on the picked for you pins and opted out of every single one of them. Only to find my homepage full of picked for you pins again the next day. I also noticed that Pinterest would have me follow boards that I did not choose to follow. Boards that had zero interest to me. Even when you search for something specific, it doesn’t show you everything. I have noticed that I have to search several different key words. I can’t even see the people I follow anymore to edit it (but thinking that may be a temporary glitch).I have started following my favorite bloggers on Bloglovin’ so I can see daily in order their latest posts/creations and then pin from there what I would like to save. Bottom line Pinterest is not what it once was. It is more frustrating than enjoyable by far.
I’m having issues with clicking on items to pin. After I click on the item, it sends me back to the first row of items where I have to scroll to look for the pin that I clicked on the begin with. It’s a tremendous waste of time. Any ideas about this?
I’m not sure I totally understand – you are clicking on the item to open it and go to the original source? Or clicking on it to repin it to your own board? I just tried both and if I have a pin open, I just click outside the box or click the X at top right to return to exactly where I was before. Let me know if I’m misunderstanding and I’ll try to help, Paula!
I’m clicking the pin to repin on my board. However, the pin that I want to repin, isn’t the pin that displays. From my iPad or iPhone, I have to swipe through numerous pins until I reach the one I wanted to begin with. I’ve updated the app, but the problem persists.
Paula, I’m having the same problems that you are. It is the newest update. To be very frank, it is crap. I found this article because I was searching for somewhere to complain about the newest update. I agree with everything said here, but now the problem is even worse! So much for the folks at Pinterest appreciating the feedback. They’ve just made it 1000 times harder to check original sources, and pin meaningful content. I’m quickly getting fed up.
I found your post after searching “what is wrong with Pinterest”! I’ve noticed I get fewer repins and I’m losing my followers… And I still have the same basic content. Glad to know about clicking on the X for those pesky “picked for you” pins. SO annoying!! I really hope Pinterest is listening…
You are RIGHT ON! I have been so frustrated the last few months and I’ve been using Pinterest less and less because of it. I’m not seeing any of the pins by the 1,000+ people that I follow (who I CHOSE to follow, over the last 5 years since being on Pinterest when it was beta). I have chosen who I follow because I like their stuff and there is nothing that offends me and I rarely see anything I DON’T like. But now it is different. Now it just feels like a waste of time. So I’m using Pinterest about 90% less often than I used to. And I used to get 100+ new followers a week, at least (not that I’m in it for the followers, but still); I’ve gotten less than 100 new followers in the last 4 months, literally, since their changes. I love pinning stuff, but I don’t have as much motivation to pin anything new if I don’t get any new followers. It’s like some inner motivation that I can’t explain. Because I don’t have a business and I don’t *get* anything from having more pinners… It’s just a good feeling I guess, that people like my pins enough to want to follow my boards. And I LOVE the image of my boards, the overall image of my 20 boards (I purposely keep the number of boards small because it would be overwhelming to me to have more boards); I’ve taken screen shots and printed them out and stuck them in my journal, and I carefully curate that image that’s the top image on the board and I’ve learned stuff about myself and my preferences from all that pinning – I can see color themes that I didn’t know I love, and that’s really helpful when I’m making art or decorating my home. So thanks, Pinterest, but NO THANKS to this new algorithm.
pintrest seems not to be listening. I have only noticed an uptick on the frequency of “picked for you” pins. Ido not log in as often, and may just delete my account. pintrest, STOP BEING ARROGANT. Picked for you is fine, if it were about ONE EIGHTH OR LESS OF THEM.
I agree with you completely. I don’t mind the promoted pins, or even suggested pins, but I’m awfully annoyed at the random boards that Pinterest automatically makes me follow!!!! 95% of these boards are group boards, and they are just horrid! Every single time I get on Pinterest, I have to “Unfollow” these random boards, which takes up lots of my time. I might just give up browsing Pinterest altogether.
Yes!!! So frustrating – I keep seeing MY OWN pins on my feed – why would I want to see my OWN pins when I’m trying to search for inspiration??? SO FRUSTRATING!! Does anyone know how to stop from seeing your own pins on the feed??
I am barely interested in Pinterest anymore. Why can’t things that work stay working. I hate the picked for you and I miss seeing my friends pin items. It really connected us and was a social media that was fun. This now, not fun.
This explains a lot. I find myself logging into Pinterest less and less because what I see in my feed is of no interest to me. I logged in today and my feed was filled with meat. Pictures of meat and recipes for meat. I’m a vegetarian. How did this happen?? Pinterest higher ups – I hope you’re listening. I’m feeling totally done with this website and it used to be my favourite.
Hi – I just found this post via a google search I did wondering if my pins are even showing up in people’s feeds. I too find that Pinterest just doesn’t hold that same special place in my heart because I log in and it’s just ugly and it’s not people or things that I am interested in seeing. It is pretty upsetting because Pinterest was SO wonderful in the beginning. I’m not a power pinned or heavy user at all but people were repinning my pins all the time and now I’ve noticed I haven’t had a single person like or repin anything of mine in over a month. It’s just weird and I wonder why. I realize this post was written earlier this year but I definitely haven’t noticed any positive changes in the way Pinterest is doing things if they were seriously taking into consideration the thoughts of your post. :/
I’d have to agree with that, Jen. Watching/reading may isn’t the same way as responding/implementing.
Hi, Liz – great post. I am basically just repeating what everyone else has said, but it’s always nice to find a sympathetic ear. I too found this post after googling Pinterest’s algorithm change. I rarely if ever go to my feed anymore because it’s so full of “Picked for You” and Promoted pins. I have to look long and hard to find pins from anyone I actually follow. Where I used to enjoy perusing all of the great pins from pinners I chose to follow, I now find myself having to purposely go to their boards if I want to see their most recent activity. Not a very efficient use of my limited time. (Okay, I suppose just being on Pinterest at all isn’t a very good use of time, but I’m sure you understand!) Pinterest has just made it too difficult for me to see the content I wish to see. Conversely, I don’t think my pins are showing in up in my followers’ feeds, as I have very few repins anymore. On top of that, I seem to be losing followers on a daily basis and the number continues to trend downward, though I am doing nothing different from what used to garner lots of new followers. A year or so ago I was consistently getting new followers every day, and my follower count reflected as much. As someone similarly pointed out further up in the thread, that’s not what hooked me on Pinterest, but it did contribute to the fun/addiction when I started attracting followers. Now, every time I log on, my follower count is lower, even if I manage to acquire the occasional stray follower. I keep hoping that Pinterest will, for once, initiate a change for the better and bring back the old algorithm, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. I am already on Pinterest a lot less than I used to be and may soon end up leaving altogether.
I noticed I am now following all the boards of pinners where I had selected only one or two of their boards. In the mobile app, I can only choose to unfollow every other board of said pinner. Not Nice, Pinterest, not nice at all. To rectify it, I had to just completely unfollow that pinner. I still like Pinterest as a search tool, very much, but am rapidly losing interest in my feed. I am sad that my sorting and choosing has been chucked aside for the highly suspect “Hey, I found this great (whatever) on Etsy” …. Pinned by folks who never pinned anything like that before, or described a pin like that before. I am pretty sure those are randomly credited to people I follow without their knowledge. It is the sneaky air of subterfuge about these changes that I don’t like and makes me wonder how my pins appear. I have lost my trust in Pinterest. I don’t mind ads or many of the picked for you pinsandut the underhanded take over of what used to be my personal choices and preferences is offensive.
As an aside, here are a very interesting Pinterest article that may make you think twice: http://www.goseewrite.com/2012/10/pinterest-numbers-major-flaws/
I came across this post awhile ago & started dealing with the “picked for you” suggestions turning up in my feed. However this evening I noticed in my feed “pins” from boards and people I’m not even following – chosen by me or for me!
When I click on the pin to see if I am following them – so that I can unfollow – I’m not even following them! It’s not a “picked for you” either.
I have a theory. I had just wasted about half an hour looking at lifehack pins, you know, how you click on one pin, then look at the other pins like that below it. After that, all these psychology/lifehack pins start showing up. Really pee’d off about that – I have no idea how to get rid of them!
I am wondering why when I pin things from one computer and then log into my same account from a different device the things I pinned from the first computer are not on my boards?
I want to see all of the pins, in the order that they are pinned, from all of the boards I follow, in my news feed. I used to say that I would pay to use pinterest, I would have preferred that. I would have paid $3.99 a month for example to have pinterest operate the way it used to. I still would. I used to love it and found it a great tool. I would not have minded having a pinterest subscription for a fee. I hate that I am not seeing pins from the boards I follow, in the order that they were pinned, in my feed. I get on pinterest a lot less now. 🙁
Thank you for taking the time to explain what is happening. I thought I had done something wrong somewhere. So frustrated with what keeps appearing.
I’ve been pretty irritated with Pinterest for months, maybe a year? I used to use the site every day- now I’m on maybe once a week. And I use the site in a completely different way than I used to. Now I pins pins from websites for me to look back on later, but I don’t use my feed at all. Instead, I search for something vague, like “library fashion”, find a pin and then follow it to the pinner’s board.
I have been wondering how to find my favorite pinner’s feeds and then bookmarking them, so this article was super helpful. Thank you! I’m totally okay with them monetizing the site, I don’t really care if they want to do sponsored pins, but they should realize that I’m never going to end up seeing them bc they’ve destroyed my feed :/
Finally…I’ve been so frustrated with my Pinterest feed that I stopped getting on. I’m saying that because they need to know that. That people STOPPED USING it! I’m a DIY fanatic and all things natural and beautiful. When I get a suggested “buy it” pin from a company that has a white laminate coffee table with gold sprayed legs from some company that charges literally an arm AND a leg (like $2500), I protest. So, I put in the comments that if someone wanted one of these, I would MAKE A CUSTOM one for them for the same price with FREE delivery! AAAhhhh! To say the least, Pinterest has pissed off this pinner. I’m not a monster pinner, but I worked hard to get 1.7k followers and almost 13k pins. And now my numbers are stagnate. Don’t get me wrong, I actually didn’t do it for the followers, but it was an excellent indicator that I was pinning things other people enjoyed too. And I’m a affirmation junkie. But my feed….OMG! I can’t even hardly go on there, it’s so frustrating. All of the work I did to meticulously pick who to follow is gone. I’ll be off for several days and come back on to find the pins I PINNED, a couple of days ago, still on the top of my feed. Nope. I’m mad. Can you tell I’m ranting?! It’s almost time for a new social media baby. One that understands the clients are the people. I hope Pinterest figures this out. There has to be a way. They need to ASK FOR SUGGESTIONS on how to run this site for the people who pin and the people who would buy, instead of asking marketing companies designed to line their pockets with cash. I’m sure they’d get some better ideas (FYI, I think the Federal government needs to do the same!) End Rant! (GREAT ARTICLE! FIRST ONE I FOUND)
Why has pinterest gone and changed the home feed so that we can no longer see what we (the pinner) sees in our home feed? It is so annoying and frustrating. I don’t want to click over to my other board to see what I’ve just pinned, then click back over to the main page.
I feel like closing my account!!!
Thanks so much for this article! As a blogger, I was wondering if through these changes you have seen your Pinterest referrals signicantly decline? We have and I am trying to figure out why. Maybe this is all connected..?
Thanks again! 🙂
I thought it was me, that I had made some sort of mistake. What used to be a virtual museum of all the best things in the world is now junk. I can’t travel enough or read enough to recreate what so many talented people of taste did for us. Hate the picked for you pins, mourn the loss of fabulous content, and shudder to think if they delete and discard the museum grade collections and pinners. Shame on you, Pinterest
This is a beautiful way to see it Nina. And it makes me more sad. Yes, there were so so many amazing pinners. I doubt they’re putting the same energy into their collections any more.
I’m not using Pinterest any more. It used to be fun. I want to see the things I pin in my feed in order. My feed hardly ever changes. I can’t believe someone screwed up this great site. Very sad.
Give us back our feed! Lots of comments here about the removal of our pins on our feeds! Why can’t we see our own pins on our feeds anymore???? I don’t mind the “picked for you” pins, if they catch my eye, great. If not, I move on. Kind of disappointment with the change though…
I have had several of the “Picked for you pins” be links to spam websites! Nice Pinterest… real nice. Thanks for picking a spam site for me …several times. I quick Facebook several months ago and am close to quitting Pinterest because of the watered down website. 🙁
I too have noticed that things have changed in my Pinterest feed this year and that I was seeing a lot more ‘Picked for You’ pins – many of which I liked and pinned. But in recent months the overall content of my feed has seemed to become more and more boring and uninteresting, without me realizing why and so I’ve just naturally stopped spending as much time on it and have been getting my visual inspiration elsewhere (like Instagram!). I maintain a blog and regularly monitor how my various marketing efforts are bringing in traffic and it seems that both my traffic from Pinterest and repins have declined (even though I’m pinning more than ever and working hard at SEO). This is really disheartening as a small time blogger trying to build my business. I only have a couple hundred followers, but I worked hard to get them and it sure would be nice if they could keep seeing & re-pinning my stuff (hopefully leading to more followers), rather than all my pins getting lost in the abyss…Even their ‘search’ has recently changed so that only content with the most pins shows up. How in the world is a ‘newbie’ ever supposed to compete with a pin that already has thousands of re-pins, therefore it consistently shows up at the top of searches and continues to get more pins, while newer pins never get seen at all (even if they contain all the relevant keywords)? This angers me, both as a business person, trying to utilize social media and as a consumer, looking for fresh, new content on Pinterest from creative people who haven’t already ‘made it’.
For some time I’ve been getting a notice to update to the new Pinterest but I just kept hitting “not now” . They kept saying how great it was , so I finally did . It’s not and I’m really sorry I “updated” . So sorry I’m considering giving “pinning “up , and I really loved the old Pinterest. You can’t tell anymore who you pinned from , only the original source and while I believe giving credit where credit is due , I pinned from another pinner whose pins and boards I loved , now that’s all gone , and thinking about how funny or cute or whatever about that familiar pinner is lost . What’s with the “news”, why do I care about that ? It hard to get to my own boards now , not just a swipe . I pin from my phone and they now have access to my phone contacts ? Who gave them permission for that ? Not me , not knowingly I didn’t. So very unhappy with the Pinterest I once loved and told everyone how great it was , not anymore. Sadly considering giving it up all together , I’d probably get a lot more done at home . As the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke , don’t fix it ” Too bad really a great place to go and enjoy and get lost in , now gone .
Thanks for this post! It was really interesting 🙂
I went over to my own Pinterest board and realised that about half of the pins showing are “picked for me”. To be honest though, I quite like this… I think Pinterest does a good job at picking for me because it enables me to see inspiring pins that I wouldn’t have seen normally. And as for the non-chronological updates… I don’t mind that either!
I will however go through and unfollow some boards I think.
Thanks again! 🙂
Thank you for writing this!!!!! I’ve been trying to figure out what the heck happened for months now! It seems like my entire feed is either stuff I pinned days ago or pins “picked for me” which have nothing to do with me.
I followed people for a reason, let me see what they pin! 🙂
I Googled info on how to stop the Pinterest app on my phone from refreshing (which I still have yet to find that info) and this post was in the results. It is one of the most well-written and informative articles I’ve ever read! You have gained a new follower!
Thanks so much for your article. I found it when searching for solutions to the ‘Picked for me’ issue.
I wonder if anyone knows of a good alternative for Pinterest.
We keep complaining about the changes but we’re still using it. That’s not going to send a message.
I admit I’m neither a blogger nor a curator. I use Pinterest purely to save things I like and I rarely follow users. In the past few months I’ve not only seen my feed overpowered by the ‘Picked for me’ pins, but I suddenly also don’t see pins I have pinned myself! They are on the boards I’ve pinned them to, but don’t show on the main feed. To say this is frustrating is putting it mildly. I used to like scrolling through my feed and see what I and those few I do follow had pinned. Now the feed is unrecognizable to me.
Pinterest has done what Facebook did a few years back – I cancelled my Facebook account immediately and will be doing the same with Pinterest if no alternative shows up (or if they don’t change their tune soon).
Would appreciate alternative suggestions if anyone knows any! 🙂
What is going on with the new format??? I absolutely hate this change! I’ve spent a lot of time pinning and arranging my boards in a beautiful and useful way. As a designer I use Pinterest as a valuable tool. The layout of the previous format was not only pleasing but easier to work with. My boards were in an order where I could easily see across my boards for the one I want. If this does not change back to how it was, then I am totally done with Pinterest! This is really disappointing!
Yep I agree with parts of everyones comments I actually thought it was me as I’m not so great on the computer BUT it’s not me, it’s very annoying to get used to something and then to have it all change I like to see my pins on the feed and less of pin’s picked for me so PLEASE Don’T FIX something that’s NOT Broke !!!!! Thank’s hopefully someone is LISTENING
It still doesnt answer anywhere i saw !!!!!! when i pin something why doesnt it show on the main home page??? i pin it to one of my boards but it doesnt go on the main one!!
Yes! I am so glad to see this article and that Pinterest seems to be listening. Going to Pinterest used to be a joy, but now it is such a frustration that I am seeing all kinds of things I did not choose to follow but can’t see things from boards I have chosen to follow. I don’t need Pinterest to shove pins in my face (or feed). If I don’t see enough interesting things in my own feed, I know how to use the search bar to find more. Please, Pinterest, quit trying to manipulate what I see and just let me see the boards and pinners I have chosen to follow.
Thanks for the tip on unfollowing boards I’ve never heard of – I am going to go check that out right now.
I keep getting “picked for you” pins that are vulgar and offensive! I also get pins that I have no interest in! Recently my feed has been getting bombarded with those pins and I’m so frustrated. I understand that I don’t own my account and Pinterest needs to make money, but posting unwanted pins to my newsfeed makes me feel sort of violated. It reminds me of getting spam email in my inbox. I would appreciate the “picked for you” pins if Pinterest would create a separate tab for them and we could choose whether or not to view them. I probably wouldn’t mind viewing them if Pinterest had it set up that way.
totally agree-pinterest is sooooo annoying sending me crap that i have no interest in at all. I just can’t seem to stop a flow of useless annoying pins that i never signed up for. Totally toally anoying -agree with your article here-pinterest you need to become good again!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Liz. I’ve been going bonkers with all things Pinterest lately. Over the few days I’ve noticed that I’m getting absolutely ZERO new followers of my overall board. ZERO. What is up with that? Anyway, I can’t wait to read all of the comments for further enlightenment. Again, thank you so much. Cheers, Ardith
Thank you. At last I’ve found out why I’m being inundated with ‘Picked for you’ posts and can’t see on my feed what I’ve pinned. It is so irritating. Also i used to be able to pin photos from my iPad onto my boards through the app but now I can only do it through my browser which is so much more fiddly.
I stopped looking at my Pinterest feed when the “recommended for you” pins swamped who I really wanted to see. I now only use it to pin things I’ve found other places or to look at feeds I’ve chosen to follow. I have friends and coworkers who are also complaining about the changes.
Thank you for an article that highlights all thought I’ve had about Pinterest for quite a while. The reason I got Pinterest in the first place is because it was a platform where I could control the feed, unlike all other social media. It was, like you say, people meeting people. Hopefully they will stop bombarding me with suggested pins, or I will just have to stop looking at the site all together.
Thanks for the article. I hope people from pinterest are reading this- I no longer go on pinterest as much as I used to because I dont see pins from my friends, and I don’t even see my own pins anymore. I used to spend more than 2 hours on pinterest, now when I log on there is a ton of bad advertisements from walmart, and triscuts, and other crap I don’t use, or places I shop. There is so much of these pushed pins, that even when I search for pins I’m interested I get the horrible promoted pins that are just lame commercials. I understand the need to make money from promoted pins but they’ve gotten so bad you’ve lost a user. If one came up every 30 pins I wouldn’t notice… but with 75% of the pins being promoted I’m no longer logging on… sorry pinterest you’re kinda blowing it
Thanks for this, I’m so frustrated with Pinterest right now! I tried to use it on my phone and I had no choice but to choose some “topics” before it would let me access anything else… Since then I have unfollowed these boards, but it is still showing me all of the pins! What is happening?! It feels like it just got a lot worse… I live in hope that things will improve!
I’m following a topic called Knots, and it has amazing jewelry patterns on it, but I keep getting inapropriate images, I can’t report them because their not picked for me and when I go to the topic page they don’t even show up. Is there any way I can get rid of them?
i’m close to backing everything up, uninstalling and closing my account.
that whole thing where you can’t really unsuscribe from “topics” only made it much much worse. it has continued to transition over to a “push” model instead of the “pull” model that they started with. the results: it’s like TV all over again. i can tolerate a few ads, like in tumblr; but not this sh*t.
if they continue behaving this way, they’ll only be setting themselves up to getting disrupted by an opensource (or at least openstandards), federated, distributed alternative to pinterest. similar to diaspora. something that’ll be reasonably vulnerable to dumb, nearsighted business strategies.
I’m so unhappy with Pinterest and it used to be so much fun. They have completely ruined it for all of us. All of my family and friends are saying the same thing. Seems like my pins disappear and no one even repins anything any more…AND then I get their stupid emails saying there’s 18 million people pinning for Thanksgiving, LOL, “hurry, promote your pins.” When I bid on a pin for 7 days at $5.00 a day for 50 pins, they came back with, my bid was too low. Then they ghosted my account. So I guess I’m done.
I feel like Pinterest is not listening to what we are all saying. The picked for you pins are incredibly annoying. And I try to delete and pick the option ‘I don’t like recommendations” and then I see them again. Just because I planned a trip to Disney last year and have a Disney board, does not mean I want to keep seeing pins about Disney anymore! Or I pinned a carrot cake, I don’t need or want to see another 20 carrot cake posts. Please Pinterest let me see what I want to see, and please stop adding me to boards I didn’t subscribe to. Pinterest is a great site but I’m becoming increasingly more and more frustrated and finding I’m wanting to click on my app icon anymore due to the garbage I have to weed through.
I gave up on Pinterest for about 8 months, because it wasn’t fun anymore. My feed was full of ugly stuff that was “Picked for me,” and even after I got rid of (most) of those, I wasn’t seeing the variety of pins from people I had followed. It got too boring and annoying – not fun – so I deactivated my account.
I just decided to give it another try, and now I see they have changed the Picked for you feature so that every time I re-pin something it brings down a shitstorm of Picked For You pins, supposedly related to the thing I re-pinned. Which makes me not want to re-pin anything.
I just want to see the pins from the people I follow, in the order they pin them, with a few promoted pins thrown in because I know everybody’s gotta get paid. Seems simple, Pinterest won’t do it, guess I’m walking away again.
Hating the new Pinterest! 75% of what I see in my feed is either “Picked for You” or “Found In” the few categories that Pinterest forced me to sign up for recently. I rarely see pins from the people I followed in the first place! WTF? And I can’t even chose a cover photo or organize my boards in the mobile app any more. So not fun or user friendly any more. Sad! I still love my boards, so I guess I’ll be using them for inspiration and not even bothering to look at the daily feed from now on!
I made the EGREGIOUS error of participating in a community board tonight and now my feed is full of total CRAP that I can’t get rid of. No, I don’t want to see 100 recipes for cookies because I pinned one. I don’t want to see everyone’s crappy $5 craft ideas. I too am about to stop using this for anything but keeping my own boards. What a s**tfest, Pinterest. Everywhere you go these days, you get recommendations shoved in your face. I DON’T WANT THE ENTIRE WORLD RECOMMENDED TO ME.
LEAVE US ALONE ALREADY!!!!! I spend more time removing recommendations on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, it’s not worth it.
These businesses are going to monetize themselves right out of existence.
Your article was very interesting. What I have learned 2 years of putting my boards together were for nothing. They are not my boards. Not what I signed up for, it is their control not mine. I have a board of our President and Michelle. Pinterest took control and described it with African Americans, now I also have a Board on President and Jacqueline. Nowhere in Pinterest description does it say Caucasians. Tells me everything I want to know about their new look.
Thanks for your article. I used to love pinterest and looking at my feed, but honestly it’s a completely different experience now (turned for the worse) and I don’t use it as much.
I have done some of these things you mention before (thanks for the tips! and you mention some I have not done but want to use to try and help!) and although it has helped get rid of pesky posts I don’t care to see and follow, any resemblance of my old feed is still yet to be seen. I chose those that I follow intentionally and now I almost never see any of their pins in my feed unless they are a business.
I miss the old way the site worked! Thanks for what you shared!
Great article. I’ve been seeing “Picked for You” (labelled as such) pins for a while and to be honest don’t mind them. They aren’t overly prolific for me and are relevant enough for the most part. What I have noticed over the past few weeks however, which does slightly annoy me, are pins from people I don’t follow showing up in my homepage feed with no label to indicate why. I was under the impression that any Promoted, Related or Picked for You pins should be labelled as such. I only follow six pinners and can not figure out why I am seeing these unidentified pins from people I do not follow.
I used to use the site more, but my biggest complaint now is that I don’t (or can’t) see my own pins on my main feed anymore. If I pin something, it goes onto the board I assign it to, but I like to have it in my main feed for a while so that I can explore multiple pins after I’ve researched an idea. I don’t like having to sort through my boards and then pins on those boards to see what I’ve just been researching.
I had the same problem, M.L. – suddenly the pins I was adding no longer showed on the main feed. Instead I now have my main feed chock-a-block full with ‘picked for you’ pins. It’s a complete disgrace.
I emailed them and they said it was a change they made to allow me to see more of my friends’ pins on the main feed (big, fat lie, if you ask me) and if I wanted to see the ones I pinned, I should go to pinterest.com/yourprofile/pins and they will all show.
It’s not the same, I know but I’ve completely stopped using Pinterest in an interactive way now. I just pin things to my boards that I see on other pages and don’t go searching for anything else on it. If I do, I end up being spammed on the main feed and that just annoys the crap outta me.
What I don’t understand is… everyone’s complaining but nobody has suggested an alternative yet! There must be something out there better than this, surely???
Well, I see this was written almost a year ago and if anything the “picked for you” has gotten WORSE! I simply cannot believe they are ruining their site like this by making their users so angry?! Do they not do market research on this? My entire newsfeed today, save for a few pins, was picked for you. One of the more notable picked for you was a pic of a giant condom with advice on how to use it. I have never once pinned anything that would suggest I’d like to see a condom pin!!
Please, Pinterest, LISTEN TO YOUR USERS! You are overdoing the picked for you pins!
In addition to everything listed above, I am also seeing tons of pins that are neither “picked for you” or even from boards I am following. When I saw them start showing up I went into my boards thinking it might have been a situation where Pinterest automatically started following the board/pinner for me. However it is not even listed. So aggravating that most pins are ones I don’t even want to look at. Go back to letting us do our own searches and pins ourselves….PLEASE!!!
Thank you for this article. It is so accurate and well thought out. I have been a Pinterest user since 2010 and it was such a great resource for finding amazing like minded creative people, ideas, and design. Now it’s a crap shoot, hodge-podge of ads, “picked for you” pins, and things I just don’t want to look at. And the sense of community seems broken too. It’s almost impossible to follow my favorite pinners now, or find new pinners with great boards. Such a shame really. I know Pinterest is a business that needs to make a profit, but they seem to have really lost the core magic of what made it so great. I really do believe they can go back to some of the organization and algorithms that made it really work, while also gaining new ACTIVE users and paid for pins. If they lose their core audience then it will have no value to advertisers anyway, or far less. Just a thought…
Boy my frustration paid off I found you!! I have written them emails with each successive change and watched my reach and repins drop by more than 50% since their last two (obvious) algorithm changes in September and more recently. It’s obvious it is suppose to incentivize me to buy my way out of the fence they’ve erected. Every time they’ve done this I manage to work my way out and as soon as I begin seeing the reach I once enjoyed I feel as though I’m shut down. Is this possible? I generate repins (or used to) at a rate about 1,500 daily now I’m down to 400, in the past seven hours not one pin. Is anybody seeing me because I’m sure not seeing my followers. I remember the days when I would wake up and be stunned by the sheer beauty of the pins I followed. (Mine are cool but theirs stun!)
I love the people I follow and despite the idea that Pinterest users don’t talk, we created quite the community. I miss them. I miss the challenge of building my brand. I don’t do this in my business, withold information to make my clients buy, I aim to serve and the money follows. Now why is this concept so difficult to comprehend. Thanks so much for your post. Glad I found everyone here. Best to all, Melinda of The Skyline Design Group SF Peninsula
So, that’s how it is. I wonder why I can not find pictures that I like in pinterest lately. To make it worst, my board stated that I’m following 9 boards, which not link to anywhere when I click it. Now I have to sort all my pin from the start. Is it pinterest default by automatically make us follow board based on their ‘especially picked for you’ picture? That make me think whether the followers I have right now are following me because they wanted to or, just like me, they follow my boards without even realizing it.
Excellent article and clearly the folks over at Pinterest were paying attention. I just tried to unfollow a lot of boards that don’t interest me and started getting error messages that my action (unfollow) can not be completed because I have reached a block set in place to prevent spammers!!! Um… Like the spammers are unfollowing boards???? How about putting some blocks on the number of “recommended” pins I’m seeing???
Thank you, Liz, for writing such a comprehensive article on this issue. I first read it in the Spring, and followed your suggestions. My Pinterest feed was better for awhile, but quickly became cluttered, again, with “picked for you” and “found on”, recommended pins. What a waste!! Most of these prompts are things I’ve pinned myself. And, the implication is that none of us is capable of making our own choices. Many pinners I’ve chosen to follow are NEVER on my feed anymore, and my follower base has diminished significantly. I agree with many of the other commenters that Pinterest is no longer enjoyable, and clearly, the administrators are not listening to us. In the almost full year since your article appeared, one would have hoped that Pinterest would have found ways to meet their monetary needs while keeping its customer base happy. Not so!! I will check my boards periodically, but can no longer devote the times previously enjoyed discovering Pinterest gems.
Does anyone know why the pinterest main feed is super narrow? It used to fill out the whole page but now I only get 3 columns, with a blank column on either side. Is this the Facebook look? If so, it’s yucky. Thanks
Mine is like this, too! It looks awful. I spend much less time on the site now because of the format. I can’t find any way to fix it; yours is the only comment I’ve found about it!
Mine just started doing this as well, and I do not like it either.
And what on earth are “found in” pins?!!! They are not from a board I am following and there are literally hundreds of them that I am not interested in and can’t get rid of. I have found no way to delete them. Unlike “picked for you” pins, mousing over them doesn’t cause an X to appear. My only options are to pin it, send it, love it, or let it sit there and clog up my feed. So disappointing that Pinterest has turned their back on its users and on what made it so great in the first place.
Yes yes and yes. Such a helpful post, thank you! Pinterest has been my first love for many years, but lately I’ve been feeling dissatisfied and now I know why! Such a bummer…mobile browsing is no fun anymore with all the sponsored/picked for you pins. I do use it to search for ideas still, but no longer find much inspiration in my feed. And now you can’t even edit a pin link!
Sad…wish they’d listen. Thanks for keeping us posted.
Beth, you should be able to edit a pin link at least through the desktop version. We have not had any issues here, have you?
I have had trouble, but not consistently. I haven’t figured out the pattern for sure, but I THINK we can still edit links on pins WE pinned, but not on repins. (I can understand this, but it’s frustrating because I frequently changed repinned links to FIX them because they’d been pinned from blog homepages and the like.)
I also have never understood why you can’t just add a link during the process of uploading a pin; that is automatically a 2-step process.
Glad I found this. My problem is different— I went to pin and was told my email was not valid–tho Pinterest sends me emails every day. This was in Sept or Oct. I tried Help to no avail. I am shortening this. I gave up and then picked up again in late Nov–through Dec–asking them to find my account..I at their direction had opened another account– was told they could not combine accounts – at end of Dec I asked for supervisor–then and only then did they find my account–but unless I use their link, I can’t access it. Again today–I am working with a human–she sends me fact I have 2 accounts– Again I said–I want to access it. It is ridiculous–and after reading your version– well what is the use– they have changed their business plan and company direction. It is like they have been playing games with me–I have the emails since November and what’s worse is — think about it — that one person can keep me dangling like this, not answering me — and I have no recourse. Their company is set up so I cannot go above this person’s head. I did send a snail mail to founders but I do not think anything will come of this.
A year has passed since you originally wrote this, and the problem has multiplied. I understand Promoted Pins, but Picked For You is a pain. And now, suddenly I have pins from non-followed origins that are based on my ‘interests’. I always appreciated seeing what my friends were pinning but they are all buried in the debris. So disappointing. Does anyone understand Pinterest’s motivation for ‘fixing what was not broke’?
As far as I can tell, the motivation remains the same:
-Increase in and retention of new users
-Increase in page views
-Make investors happy by demonstrating growth at any cost.
Seems to me they are turning it into a visual search engine with a limited social component instead of a social network, relying on users to populate the site with content but diminishing any “reward” to the user for doing so (followers, traffic, engagement, community).
We’re as frustrated as you are, Cheryl.
I have been very frustrated as well with my Pinterest feed. Not only do I have suggestions that are of no interest to me, when I do find something that I repin, I end up seeing it again and again on my feed.
Maybe someone will pick up on this and find a way of starting a new “Pinterest” with a different name that is like the old Pinterest that we enjoyed so much.
Thank you for your suggestions, I will definitely be trying them 🙂
Pinterest has become unusable to me. I’m exploring ways to download my pin boards and deactivate my account. I loved it while it lasted. And I truly appreciate the effort curators put into this platform before it was destroyed by these “picked by you” abominations.
Note to Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter execs/investors: not everything has to look like Facebook to be profitable.
I am so Frustrated! My home page NEVER CHANGES!!!!! i CAN RELOAD IT OVER AND OVER AND IT STAYS EXACTLY THE SAME! Now I have to hide all these repeat pins? Why would pinterest ruin a good thing?
Also – just for the record, I don’t follow anybody. I just want to see random pins, I like the discovery of things I would never think to look for. Now I can’t get something different to save my soul. So frustrated and angry. Pinterest was the only social media site I participated in, now it looks like I am back to none.
I used to sooooooo look forward to checking my Pinterest feed. First thing in the morning, last thing at night. It was treat to see all the beautiful, inspiring things PINNERS I FOLLOW had pinned.
Now I’m bored and very disappointed. I am going to give up wading through the irrelevant content and marking endless amounts of “picked for you” pins as “I’m not into this pin”.
I see my Pinterest time as an indulgence and if it isn’t a joy and it doesn’t inspire my projects like it used to I can’t justify spending my time using it.
I hope you read these comments and realize you are losing us, that we already know what we like, and by letting us find it quickly and in one place we will stay. We have the whole internet for browsing through irrelevant stuff. We already use Pinterest to drill into what we like and go and buy it. We will like stores using our own initiative, you don’t have to wreck the Pinterest experience to be commercial.
Yes exactly my feelings
You hit the nail on the head Liz. Pinterest has taken the joy out of looking at my feed. I rely on it heavily for traffic to my online shop, but wonder how many of my 17,000 followers are even getting to see my pins.
I am so glad you posted this – I feel like my Pinterest feed is being hijacked! Thankful that you were able to come up with some solutions.
Thanks for this! My suggestion is that we get a fee to pay each month for the Pinterest service, in order for them to cut the paid crap, allready!! Then we can get back to our creative and productive page we used to love and adore!
It’s very unfortunate that after years of carefully picking who and what I follow that Pinterest has now largely turned this into an automated experience where I am not seeing the pins of the people I am interested in. Instead my feed is flooded with multiple redundant and mostly uninteresting variations of anything I have pinned recently. It’s not fun. It’s highly annoying and I am almost ready to call it quits after 2 years of fun. Why they are working so hard at killing it is beyond me, except that I know to follow the money.They are experimenting with ways to monetize the content of which 99% is copyrighted to other people. Strange and sad.
I couldn’t agree more with every word you wrote- I had 5m views a month a year ago, down 95% to less than 500,000 a month now. Time to go elsewhere I guess!
Oh Stacy. That just sucks.
I’ve been on Pinterest almost since the beginning and it was so much fun and inspiring. Now it is beyond frustrating with all the Picked For You pins. I completely disagree with Silberman who said people follow interests, not people. Absolutely not true. I have chosen very carefully who I follow because their taste is the same as mine. Just because I like hand made jewelry doesn’t mean I like all hand made jewelry. I installed Greasemonkey and another Firefox add-on that blocked all picked for you pins and it worked brilliantly for a few months but now I guess Pinterest has found yet another way around it because the last few days, the picked for you pins are back in full force. I’ve tried uninstalling the programs then re-installing but have had no success. I guess it’s finally time to leave Pinterest. I wish I were smart enough to come up with my own version of what Pinterest used to be. This just isn’t fun anymore. I’ve been in business for a long time and understand getting new customers doesn’t work if you’re losing all the loyal ones. There are ways to grow your customer base while still keeping the loyal ones.
can anyone tell me why i’m no longer getting notifications from pinterest that people have repinned or liked my pins?!! I know people normally don’t want notifications, but i really like the ones from pinterest as they remind me of the random pin i pinned ages ago and i liked getting emails seeing what other pinners had liked etc.
I emailed them and they said to check all the boxes in my settings and add their names to my contacts list which i have, but still no pins in my email inbox… Does anyone else have this problem. It started about a month ago.. Jan 2016, thx
I have opted not to receive “picked for you” pins, as they’re usually old, irrelevant and just not to my taste. I’ve meticulously deleted and fed back on all of them, over and over again, until they stopped appearing. And when they reappeared, I did it all again. And now it feels that as a result I’m being punished by Pinterest.
I use Pinterest every day and follow several thousand pinners, yet when I look at my feed each morning now, there are only about 30-40 new pins to see before I am scrolling through the pins I saw yesterday. It’s really frustrating – I’m just not being shown most of the content I go on the site to see, which isn’t good for me as a user, and can’t be good for Pinterest either. It seems that if I’m not willing to just accept whatever content Pinterest deems good for me to see, whether I like it or not, they are not going to show me anything at all.
I escape to Pinterest to avoid the drudgery chores and now I have a new one: eliminating random pins that have been followed for me, with no apparent logic.
Anyone suggest a site comparable to the Pinterest of old?
Why not scroll promotions (and tempting discounts) at the bottom like CNN does?
Well Pinterest has gotten worse which I didn’t think was possible. Cant even get in to the feed unless you check something you’re interested in. I know if I check it there will be tons of new unwanted picked for you. I guess Pinterest just doesn’t get it. People follow people. And those of our own choosing, not some computer generated feed. Way too much clutter on the feed page. I have been going less and less for a year and then this week had an interest in a new topic. I was having fun pinning and following all week until today. When the feed is blocked. Sigh Time to move on.
Part of the reason I pin things in the first place is so I can get back to the source of the information again. If the links are stripped out, the pinning is useless to me. I will have to find another way to get back to the web pages that interest me.
How are the links stripped out, Linda?
I thought it was just into me, I don’t like the way they have changed the setup of Pinterest.
This just really sucks! I loved Pinterest! I’ve been on a chat with someone from Pinterest for days now trying to explain how to fix this. There is no way! Ugh…very sad! It will no longer be a platform for my business. Sad! I hope many people bail and only use it for information. Instagram seems to be the best thing going right now for small businesses! Will turn to them! 🙂
So disappointing. I was an early Pinterest enthusiasts, back when you had to send people an invite to join. I stopped ripping pages out of magazines and used Pinterest for everything.
And then it got obnoxious and cluttered. I never use it for searching or a source any more. I merely use it as a visual file cabinet and only refer to my own pins.
I hope they can find a way to make money without ruining what they created.
I thought I was going crazy! None of the pins in my feed are from people I follow, they keep suggesting pins that are either not interesting or that I’ve already pinned. I was getting close to 100k followers, but all of a sudden, I’m getting a few new followers/week instead of a few hundred/day, and NO ONE is repinning my carefully curated pins, when I was getting at least 50/pin. I’ve almost stopped using Pinterest completely because I’m so sick of these pins in my feed that I have no interest in.
Like you said in a comment above, I just want to see what I signed up to see. Pinterest is sucking so bad and I’m surprised how disheartening it is for me. Pinterest used to be my favorite far and above any other social media site, and now it’s useless as far as my feed goes. I save pins for myself to look at later, but seriously the rest of it is terrible now. I -never- see anything from anyone I care about anymore. I didn’t sign up to see a bunch of crap some nebulous company chose for me, whether it is the idiotic “picked for you” that completely overrun feeds or just that they are the ones choosing what I see instead of the nice chronological feed from the people -I- chose to follow. Why do they think we’re on there?
The only time I see anything from someone I care about seeing is in an email I get that once in a while shows me 1-2 things from around 1 person I care about seeing. I also used to enjoy seeing which of my friends liked or repinned something I was excited about pinning. But now, all my notifications are filled with a million people I don’t know pinning one pin I hardly care about.
Just now I decided to try surfing around Pinterest while I can’t sleep. It used to be so fun. This time, the idiocy is displayed by some stupid “Curious to see what friends are pinning?” thing that won’t go away until I click on it and go see what again they have chosen for me to see. The lameness never ends and they’ve totally ruined Pinterest. If the owner really thinks we want to follow only categories and not the people we care about and carefully chose, then he obviously couldn’t care less about the people who helped him build his site by loving it, sharing it and using it when it was good. So disappointing.
I no longer enjoy browsing Pinterest at all. They’ve totally ruined my home feed and it’s full of “Picked for You” stuff that isn’t even interesting to me. I no longer see anything from the group of people I CHOSE to follow….people I carefully selected based on similar tastes and preferences. Pinterest was THE social media site for me and a way for me to wind down at night. I really hate it now. So disappointing. I hope Pinterest is listening to peoples’ comments.
This has been bumming me out for awhile, and it’s taken me awhile to do some research into why I just don’t care about surfing Pinterest anymore. Like a few of the commenters above, now it’s just a virtual file cabinet for me with stuff I pin off the site. I can’t get any new inspiration from Pinterest itself, and I really miss seeing what MY friends think is cool. But hey I guess I’m a lot more productive at home (and work!) now that I’m not addicted to this feed anymore….I wish they’d give us an option to just view pins from people we follow. And a few ads–NBD! I found a Google Form where they are taking feedback from people (though from the updates to this article, that may not work)…https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OIIFuQJ7Tc9FvwDI9R4APgD_8Hm1-fpCfL0iX3s1rvE/viewform?c=0&w=1
Glad to see I’m not alone! Really appreciate this article.
Pinterest was dying for me about 6 months ago, I was completely turned off by the “picked for you pins”, they were never anything I wanted to look at, MAINLY because they WERE picked for me. I don’t want someone else to pick for me. And then they take my “Home Feed” away so that I can’t readily see what I have pinned recently.
Anyway, I got on Pinterest tonight and the crap has gotten even worse! You can’t get rid of the junk you have NO interest in.
You are now dead to me Pinterest. I hope your money grubbing greed kills you off to everyone else too!
If anyone wants a great business idea, it’s right here. Create a site the way Pinterest used to be, and keep it that way, instead of making all the incompetent changes Pinterest did, and you’ll be an amazing success. Although you may want to add better editing options, since theirs are kindergarten level, at best.
I too have noticed MORE unwanted pins, no matter how many times I click on the “x”. The setiings I’ve changed? They go back to whatever Pinterest forces me to gave.
This may be their way of creating more money but it is counterintuitive (forcing people to not be able to see what they want, and forcing them to view things they don’t).
I go to the site less and less and only if I have a specific thing to look up, otherwise it is a waste of time. I don’t get to see pins from people I follow and i spent all my time clicking on “I don’t want to see this pin.” and being forced to say WHY on every single pin.
It is 99% a waste of time now.
How are you able to click anything to hide Pins you don’t want to see? Mine no longer have that function. It doesn’t matter if I’m using an app or visiting via the internet on a desktop computer. I can no longer hide any Pins they recommend.
The most recent updates to Pinterest are terrible. They’ve taken away the little ways we had to personalize “our” boards. The sponsored pins are irrelevant to me. The suggested pins are ridiculously excessive, outdated and pertain to absolutely nothing I’m interested in.
Scrolling through 100+ boards on the app with their new single file layout is obnoxious. It’s slow. Agonizingly slow. Slow to load. Slow to scroll because it has to catch up with me. Mind numbingly s l o w.
The app crashes more than any other on my phone. Every single access results in a minimum of two force closes. If they were trying to get rid of users, they’re doing a winning job of it.
I can’t handle the ads on every pin I click on. It’s like I get 10 seconds to read what I was looking at and then I’m switched to some ad for games. Everything is over killed with ads anymore. Are there any other apps like Pinterest that I can switch over to that will actually let me see what I’m looking for?
To the, “…we’ll have you tried promoting it yet?” Asked my people at Pintetest, my response is yes! And sure that is getting views, but not getting even remotely close to what I used to get in clicks to my site. Why spend the money to promote if people are going to look at your pin and move on.
Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful article. It confirmed my worst fears. Today my feed was over 90% ‘picked for you’ crap, almost all of which I would have scrolled right past and never considered opening had they been on Everything.
I consider myself a relatively early adopter of things web-related, but also an early dropper when a site loses its purpose or direction. I used to be an active Digg user, going on it every day and spending hours at a time reading and commenting, but when they changed the manner in which top stories were chosen I left and never returned. I agree with your objections and I’m losing interest in Pinterest. However, as I’m not selling (but I have bought) anything via Pinterest I have little incentive to stick around and deal with the mess. Oh well, I was probably spending too much time on it anyway.
when someone repins one of my pins, I look at their board. I can’t even follow the lead to their board. It comes up with a bunch of suggested pins. just started today. I am very frustrated. I spend a lot of time, looking at peoples boards….that are interested in mine. that way, I may see something new I like. maybe I will rethink getting some magazine subscriptions again. I didn’t need them, when I had pintrest. I am so sad….
I keep hearing, “print is dead, print is dead.” Maybe all of the disgruntled Pinterest users such as ourselves should go out immediately and subscribe to everything we used to read before. Help keep print alive, and help keep our magazines going.
I love magazines, but don’t subscribe. I just buy them here and there whenever I see something interesting and want to keep. Maybe it’s time that changes.
Pinterest has become something else entirely, and I no longer enjoy it at all. Clogging the Home Feed with Picked For You is ridiculous, especially when many of them aren’t my taste or style at all. They have no idea what Pinners really like or what we are really interested in. Just because we may have a board dedicated to, I dunno, striped clothes, doesn’t mean we want Pins about striped coffee mugs, striped cars, striped tires, striped walls, striped food, striped water bottles, striped washi tape, striped storage boxes, or striped Post-It Notes.
I just wrote Pinterest customer support. I am beyond frustrated with the changes they are making. They took a strong Web site that had a great deal of value for me and made it worthless. To be honest, I am not a social media fan (the only two “social media” Web sites I am on are Pinterest and YouTube) and am not attempting to run a business via Pinterest. I enjoyed Pinterest for doing digitally what I’ve done all my life – cut out magazine and newspaper articles and pictures, etc., and file them all in one place to save for when I want them. Pinterest was a way for me to find answers to questions, to research, and to enjoy the pretty pictures on my Eye Candy board. Now it just frustrates me so much so that I am trying to figure out my own work-around.
I’m guessing that someone will, if they aren’t already, figure out that listening to Pinterest users – when Pinterest chooses not to – will be a great way to start a new Web site service and business… and do it better. As I understand it that’s how Etsy came into being (and now I spend 5% of what I used to on eBay and 95% on Etsy).
I used to do software quality assurance. I got out of it because instead of listening to the problems customer support was hearing about, companies chose to fix and develop products based on what the software developers thought “cool” or “sexy.” I don’t think anything that fails totally at what it claims to do is either cool or sexy. I am not an early adopter. I stay out of the fray until the dust settles. I am relatively new to Pinterest (a bit more than a year). I am no longer sure it has any value for me whatsoever.
Thank you so much for this excellent article. I’m glad to know I’m not imagining things! I am struggling with the change to the emails I get when my pins are repinned. I focused heavily on the boards of the people who pin my stuff so I can learn about my customers, what they like, and see other cool things I should know about. I emailed Pinterest, and they said they wanted to “streamline the design”, but that feels like a false answer to me. I worked in user experience design at Microsoft for 11 years, and I can think of 3 ways they can leave in the link directly to the board that has my pin on it without changing the design of the emails. I’m worried they’re trying to funnel people to the new “people also like” page, which I’m guessing is filled with promoted/paid pins. I moved to Pinterest a year ago when Facebook failed my small business, and I’m not extremely concerned that pinterest is going to do the same thing. I’ve spent a year working hard to make my website work well with pinterest, but if it’s wasted effort I’d rather bail right now. Are others giving up on Pinterest now because they see the writing on the walls?
Great write-up. Pinterest really seems to be shooting themselves in the foot by making a huge money-grab at the expense of their users, aka “pulling a Digg”. If they’re not careful, their users are just going to bail and go find a similar service. Speaking of which, maybe you can recommend a good Pinterest alternative. See if that lights a fire under their chairs.
I understand the paid pins, as long as they’re clearly marked (which they’re not) and relatively few (which they’re not).
And the Picked For You pins would be a welcome addition, if they didn’t take up 80% of my board. 5% would be better, and of course they should also be clearly marked. And they need to be relevant to the user. I’m pretty sure I was getting some from CoolMomPicks (and similar), which is great for many people, but I’m a single, childless guy who’s using Pinterest for graphic design inspiration. Their algorithm needs a LOT of work.
I finally got tired of it all and found a browser extension that will block it all, and now my board is MUCH better! (http://www.stoppromotedpins.com/) It’s sad that it became necessary.
Has anyone else noticed the sudden inability to drag and drop pins on a board? I can’t seem to move my pins around by dragging and dropping. I tried the “Edit” button, but that only allowed me to move a pin or group of pins to another board!
Any suggestions–I agree with Bevansdesign–for a Pinterest alternative would be great. The “picked for you” has gotten completely out of hand. And now this drag-and-drop problem.
The ridiculous thing about the whole monetization idea is that promoted Pins only WORK if they’re promoted to the right people. It doesn’t do anybody any good, at any point in the process, to show the Pins to people who aren’t interested.
I’m okay with promoted content (as long as it doesn’t take over). I actually don’t dislike the ads and promoted posts I see on Facebook, 99% of the time, and most of the time I actually *appreciate* them — because their targeting works. The things they show me, for the most part, are interesting to ME. (Now, whether or not they’re showing me the “right” stuff from my friends and family is another question.)
So I’m good with promoted Pins — if they’d monitor the targeting better. I get tired of seeing the same few “promoted pins” (a.k.a. ADS) from a couple of chintzy companies I have no interest in. Show me a promoted Pin that’s TRULY a promoted PIN on a subject I like, or even an ad for something relevant to my other Pins, and I’m cool with that.
A way to upvote or downvote a promoted Pin could be helpful to both improve targeting AND clean up our feeds.
I can’t get my last search off my search tab when I sign on – i would prefer it to be blank so my home feed comes up – any idea how to do this?
And here we are a year later, and Pinterest is still up to their old antics. I have contacted them about Picked For You so often, they never even reply to my emails anymore. In fact, I’ve had to contact them about bullying recently, and they didn’t seem to care too much about that, either, but I digress.
So, the new issue with Picked for You is not only is it more inaccurate than ever (you should see what’s in my Home Feed these days!), but there is no way to click them anymore. Remember we could click the offending Pin and try to hide it? Can’t do that anymore. All promoted Pins are gray-ed out at the bottom.
Pinterest is not useless for me yet, I don’t run a business through them, however, I only want to see Pins from people I follow because I follow a lot of people who have great Pinning habits.
Also, just because I search for something specific doesn’t mean I want a barrage of similar Pins, many of which I already saw during my search.
Furthermore, just because I may click something about a conspiracy theory to learn more about what’s being said whether or not I agree with it, does NOT mean I want related topic Pins, and certainly not anti-religion and anti-God Pins, or pro-atheist Pins, or whatever. I feel like Pinterest is trying to tell me how to think and what to believe.
Because of my diet and lifestyle, I do not necessarily want to see pictures of animal cruelty, and yet my feed has days when it’s full of nothing but animal cruelty images.
There was a time when I could spend 3 hours a day on Pinterest looking through lovely photographic images of all sorts of things. These days, I pop in and pop out. My home feed is full of garbage.
I got sick of clicking Hide This Pin all the time. There was a day when there were 23 Pins I had to hide and there were only 8 Pins from those I follow. The ratio is way off. When I contacted Pinterest about it, they said they were not going to get rid of the feature. Well, why not? if no one likes it, and that certainly seems to be the case, just lose it. They said they won’t get rid of it because they find that lots of people end up Pinning the Picked For You Pins, and they click the Like heart on them. So, because of a few people who don’t mind being fed, the rest of us who are more aware have to suffer through.
So, I’m kind of done with Pinterest. I like it, I use it for decorating ideas mostly, and for getting new recipes (haven’t cracked open a cookbook in 2 years because all my new recipes come from Pinterest), but I think I’m done until they get rid of stuff people have repeatedly said they don’t want.
I used to be obsessed with Pinterest, but now visit it less and less because of the ads and the “Picked for you.” I actually came here via a Google search for sites similar to Pinterest. I’m ready to drop Pinterest all together but would love to have a similar place to visit. Maybe it’s time for someone to start a new user-friendly bulletin board site. Wish I knew how. 🙂
Today when I opened Pinterest my home page was completely changed. I spent a lot of time getting all my boards in alphabetical order so I could find what I wanted and now there are no boards like I am use to and they are not in any logical order. I my have to find another site like this to keep things in. So sorry to see this site go so badly.
Well, Pinterest hasn’t been listening carefully enough. This morning when I logged in, it had changed so much, I couldn’t even figure out how to see my own boards. Such a shame. I loved Pinterest. For me, it was a very valuable resource. I’ll probably wean myself off of it now. And I will miss it, terribly.
I absolutely DETEST the changes Pinterest has made over the past year. Right now, on my home feed, I’m seeing pins from 2 years ago. Others from 45w ago. Ohh and here’s one from 3 years ago. And now for some reason I can’t even check my settings to see if the possible culprit might be there. Sigh.
My daughter and I were using Pinterest before Pinterest was cool. The changes are awful and I really only go on it now to look at my own boards. My fear is if Pinterest goes under, which based on the above remarks seems plausible, what happens to all that content I’ve pinned? Most of my favorite recipes are saved there. Guess it’s time to go back to binders and print them all out. So unfortunate!
Such a great post! Thanks so much! I am not enjoying Pinterest at all anymore! They rarely show me what I want to see and the picked for you are not pins I want to see. I pretty much hate my home feed, it’s the same pins over and over again and it’s boring. I am a food blogger and I use to get at least 100 to a 150 views and now I am lucky if I get 20. Not sure if it’s worth it. It’s so sad!
Such an informative post! I’ve been using Pinterest since early 2012 and it was my favorite, but in the last year or so I find myself using it less and less. Now I pretty much only go on it to look at my own boards. Frankly, it’s become annoying. I sat down to look at my feed tonight and literally half of it was either promoted or ‘picked for you’. I kept clicking the x and saying that I don’t like recommended pins. It would say, “Got it! No more pins inspired by your recent activity” or something like that, but when I refresh my feed, there are just as many recommended pins. So frustrating!
WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BOARDS??? I have spent literally hundreds of hours organizing my pins and boards. Today, I open my board page, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! There is now a random view of boards, with a sample list of titles underneath, and a few pictures of pins included in that board. So many hours spent breaking my large boards into new boards with smaller more specific categories, then, all the pins that had to be repinned and deleted from their original boards, and finally having to drag these boards, at a snails pace, up and down the page. I have literally spent hundreds of hours carefully organizing my pins and boards for the most efficient and logical way for me to access them. Now, poof… they’re gone!!!
HELP! Is there any way to change the viewing format of this page back to the way it was?
Thank you, well said !!!!!!!!!! ✌
Thanks for the article! I read through some of the comments, (there were so many I couldn’t read them all so forgive me if this was mentioned already). I agree with almost all of them, I too am not happy with the way Pinterest is going. Okay, obviously I read comments. One comment that I didn’t see anyone mention was the disappearance of the comments on the pins. I know some people didn’t like the comments but I found them helpful. If someone tweaked a recipe I wanted to hear about it I want to know how the recipe came out for them. I like travel pins and liked to hear people’s opinions on some of the places.
When I open the comments link their is usually only one comment from the initial pinner. I have to open the pin on another page and then open the comments and their is usually nothing there. Previously the comments were on the home feed and you didn’t have to open anything to see them. There seems to be a place for people to post their comments but when you open it there aren’t any there. I am very doubtful that no one has opinions anymore. Even the pins I have that I know included comment no longer have them. It as if they have all been deleted. Why do they try to fix and improve things that don’t need fixing. We are there because we enjoy it, we wouldn’t be there if we weren’t. Bring back the old Pinterest!
Here is a link to finding similar websites like Pinterest. I haven’t tried any of them yet; but there are a few that look hopeful!
Looked at Pinterest last night and, while it was still it’s annoying, ad-driven self, it was at least familiar. Jumped on Pinterest this evening and suddenly the x to dismiss all the Picked For You and Promoted By randomness have disappeared. There’s literally no way to get rid of these pins that pop up in my feed, and my feed is entirely populated by Promoted/Picked pins… I had to scroll WAY down the page before I saw a single pin from one of the hundreds of boards I follow. Pinterest has literally taken the functionality and appeal of its app and flushed it down the toilet. I’d already lost interest in the app when I saw it was no longer showing me what the people I followed were pinning, and then came the ads (always for lingerie?) and the specially chosen pins that bear no resemblance to anything I’ve ever pinned or liked. But this? This is just ridiculous.
It’s beyond ridiculous. They had a great thing going, and now they are shooting their own golden goose. So dumb.
This was really helpful! Thank you so much
I deleted the Pinterest app from my phone and am about to deactivate my account entirely. It started on my phone, but now is happening on my computer as well: my feed is all ads. I mean, 70% of my feed is ads. Most of which have no relevance to me – bikinis (I’m 39 and have had a baby and several surgeries; those days are over), bridal stuff (I’ve been married for 17 years; not looking to get married again any time soon, and my husband would probably have something to say about it); baby stuff (my son is 10 and my husband got a vasectomy three years ago; no more babies for us). I’ve also seen ads for things that are flat-out bad ideas: tanning oil; payday loans; diet pills. And the Tieks ads – my God. I have seen more ads for$150 ballet flats I will never buy than I care to think about.
I never cared about how many people saw the stuff I was pinning. I used Pinterest for ideas and inspiration (Pinterest was a godsend when I got diagnosed as celiac and had to go gluten-free four years ago). Now, basically, Pinterest is nothing but a spam site serving me ads I don’t want to see, for products I am never going to buy. I NEVER see pins from certain boards I really liked any more, because the ads and the “picked for you” pins are crowding them out. Pinterest really screwed up and they are going to kill the platform. Because if someone like me who LOVED Pinterest is quitting – think about how many other people have quit already.
I deactivated my Pinterest account about six months ago as the “Picked for You” pins were at least half of what was on my screen at any one time on my feeds. And of course, the most off the wall stuff – were they even looking at my boards and pins to see my interest? I was no longer able to see the pins that were important to me, and spending time “x”ing out of each of the “Picked for You” pins to only have new ones pop-up the next time I signed in. In the end, I decided I could easily save my own favorite web pages and ideas and skip the Pinterest nonsense.
Pinterest has taken a turn for the worse…I can hardly see the people I’m following anymore in my homefeed because it’s invested with ‘picked for you’s’…I counted 60 in a row yesterday and I think this is really going to far…it takes a enormous amount of time to click them all away so you stop doing that. It was such a great site and as you say, really beloved by millions of people. I just don’t understand why they are doing this and if you complain about it you don’t get a reply back…they ignore you! I’m kind of done with Pinterest, it’s a 11 billion dollar company and now I understand why..it’s not about the people anymore…it’s simply about money! Go fuck yourself Ben Silbermann and give us back the old Pinterest!!!!
I’ve been so disappointed in Pinterest that I went away from it for a while because I just couldn’t stand all the Picked For You and Sponsored pins anymore. I eventually found out about Grease Monkey which helped with it but not enough. I came back to see if anything had improved and discovered that it has gotten worse. They have figured out how to side step programs like Grease Monkey because now, the ads only say “from (insert business name here)”. There’s no way to X out of them and they have clogged my feed to the point that I’ve decided to close my account for good. I have no interest in women’s personal products, plastic surgery, or clothes for the 18-25 year old crowd. Pinterest obviously has no idea how badly they have messed up what was a really fun and inspirational place. If I knew how to build a website, I would make my own, modeled after the Pinterest that used to be so great.
Pinterest is just becoming one big commercial. More and more “Picked for you” are only ads for you to buy something. Then today I tried to read someone’s recipe and right in the middle of the instructions was a blatant written commercial for an appliance company saying how wonderful the dish would come out if you did it in their stove. DELETE.
I am just about totally done with Pinterest. It used to be a great place to share and get ideas, now its just all about someone trying to get me to part with my money.
Been with Pinterest for about 4 yrs now. I sell teaching resources online and I have to say Pinterest has impacted my online sales in different stages. The smart feed was the beginning of the end. I would have paid for a yearly business account but Pinterest is greedy they want a cut of all the action via promoted pins per click or selling directly from the pin.
I think they made more changes this Feb 2016 and removed more of our product pins from our follower feeds.
I was even using Tailwind pin scheduler but this was a false hope. I am not reupping this year with Tailwind. I have stopped pinning. I have stopped marketing with Pinterest.
Tailwind is a partner with Pinterest and after watching their good feeling vibe video, I learned the mindset PInterest has towards collaborative boards. The terms they used in the video explaining collaborative boards was that they were “gaming the system.” The reality was people who were interested in those products followed those boards. It was just that simple. Pinterest et al is they are calling small business who use collaborative boards “gaming the system.” I find that hypocritical, if anyone is gaming the system it is Pinterest.
Funny since I always thought I was marketing not gaming the system when I pinned to collaborative boards.
So really as a small business I am insulted by PInterest and Tailwind see for yourself:
If you are a small business know that Pinterest wants you to pay to play now. Why?
Well Liz in this article mentioned how Pinterest is wanting to get an 11billion valuation when it goes public. Insiders at Pinterest provided more details regarding what has been going on with Pinterest in this article.
The experts say that the investors are wanting to see some profit and for this valuation to go well Pinterest has to show more profit or more followers. Well as well know Pinterest is not fun anymore and many have left and many of my peers have tried the paid pins and haven’t see any improvement in sales. So Pinterest has painted themselves into a corner with how they approached this. The experts also said if Pinterest can’t grow profits they need to grow followers.
Well I can tell you out of my 4k+ followers I had to block hundreds of fake followers recently. Not to mention endless numbers of tshirt sales people and others who just follow thousands with a hope to get a follow back. I looked at these fake followers and I could not see any motive with these accounts but to pad the books for followers.
Pinterest has lost a lot of credibility with so many right now. For them to sell via pins is just a crummy way to buy in my opinion. I sell on a site and putting together my own cart and the customer service we both provide is really good. Have you recently tried to get help with Pinterest lately? Well it is just awful! So why would I want to sell and turn customers off with Pinterest? Seriously did they really think they were going to push us into this?
What you will find in this article is that Pinterest has made so many bad decisions with this site and continues to do so. I think they think they will force us all to use it for small business but the reality is there are options. They shot themselves in the foot with the greed. Another thing that Tailwind glossed over is the fact that the biggest demographic at Pinterest is low income women who don’t have a lot of money spend. This explains why in my feeds for my teaching resources I am not getting ads from big toy companies or publishing houses or _____ instead I get promoted ads for varicose veins. That is how bad it has gotten. There is not a lot of big outfits wanting to advertise with them.
Pinterest likes to make out like they are these great guys with a better approach than other social media sites like that. I really don’t see it. I see a greedy bunch that have ruined a good thing. I guess if they keep saying it to each other then it becomes real for them but I stopped drinking their Koolaid. Personally I would not buy stock if it does go public since they are running the site aground. Maybe that is why it still hasn’t gone public since they will not get anywhere near the 11 billion they were hoping for.
I wish there was a Pinterest alternative but I haven’t found one. I think focusing on my blog more now is a better that wasting anymore time with Pinterest. I know one seller said she noticed her clicks are down after the Feb 2016 change.
Was interested in Pinterest. This thread gave me all I need to know. Not going to join.
Is there a way to contact Pinterest and make comments about their latest (July 2016) page layout design change? My home page and boards now look very unappealing to me with so much white space around pins, board titles under boards, pin descriptions cramped to left margin, red ‘follow’ bands blaring all over the page, board cover size reduction which makes positioning cover pins challenging, hard to read names of pinners and board titles under individual pins in small gray type, etc! Why would a site based on visual content rework an original well thought-out design that is already working so well for it’s users? It boggles the creative mind…
It’s not going to change, sadly. We have an update to this post coming shortly that explains the changes and why Pinterest is no longer Pinterest. (Sad face.)
Has there been an update to this post yet? I am wondering if there is any point going back to Pinterest.
Pinterest now just shows me the most random pins imaginable–totally unrelated to anything I am interested in or care about–so much so that I ask myself what was it I used to like so much about this site. Money is the root of all evil and all success, too, apparently.
Yep. Pinterest is no longer Pinterest. We need another site to start again in the way it used to be, and to be managed by people who are passionate about the ideas (not corporate interests). You see I am one of the people who gets pissed off when social media changes for the benefit of the stakeholders only. I don’t know why greedy people just need more and more money. Keep it small and usable and fun for all. Thanks for posting this; I’ll be looking for the update on why they ruined it.
Thanks for this post. I have noticed that Pinterest has changed pretty drastically and that I rarely see posts from my actual, real-life friends, but I didn’t know why. Thanks for the tips! I’m definitely going to change my settings and use that “x” function on certain posts that are cluttering up my feed. I get monetizing things (I’m a business person myself) but there needs to be a balance so that the user experience is still enjoyable.
This was suggested by another commenter and I want to add that it really works. Takes a moment for all the promoted pins and suggested pins to go away, but I see exactly what I want to see again. It’s like the old pinterest! http://www.stoppromotedpins.com/#google-chrome-desktop
I wish that there was a way to say “I’ve seen this enough times – stop showing it to me”. My feed is full of items that feel old, used and stale. I’d like to be able to dismiss the, forever!
So many people have pointed out the same things that I DESPISE / HATE / LOATHE that I won’t repeat them. In summary:
I hate EVERY change they made, even the new look on my OWN page!
I used to go to Pinterest almost daily…but now ='( I’ve nowhere to go. I’m down to MAYBE 1 brief peek weekly, and soon much less.
All my work saving my favorite pins — WASTED!
I feel betrayed and distressed beyond my ability to express.
Where can I go now? I am ready to bail NOW. YESTERDAY, and take my pins with me.
I no longer care anymore. </3 No loyalty to me? No loyalty to them.
I'm done. I want an alternative, and I am actively looking.
Seriously, I want to know.
I’ve just given up on Pinterest — too much work !
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’m this close to giving up on Pintetest. Not fun anymore!!
Thank you for your article. I want my old Pinterest back! They have ruined it. I thought the site was dying because my pins are hardly ever re-pinned now. Thank you for explaining what’s happening. Also, I want to see a date associated with a pin. I’m ready to quit.
I USED TO BE ABLE TO UPLOAD PINS FROM MY COMPUTER BUT NOW I CAN NO LONGER DO THAT. I CAN ADD PINS FROM A WEB SITE HOWEVER. WHAT HAPPENED?
It has gotten to the point, where I no longer even see pins from those I follow…. I only see pins that pinterest wants me to see. I’ve removed Pins picked for you and deleted all the boards it had me following yet I still see promoted pins (of things I care nothing for) and pins of people I’ve never even heard of. It is getting ridiculous. To the point that I no longer want to even use it. I LOVED pinterest when it came out. It was such a different and amazing idea. But now it’s following facebook down the path of just wanting to make money and not caring about those who actually use it. They will lose people and their business in the end. Mark my words… if it doesn’t change, people will stop using it.
This was a valuable article to read. I’ve loved using Pinterest, both for personal interests and for my work. I use it every day, often in my classroom. I have several hundred teenage students who now use it regularly for group collaborations and writing inspiration. However, the recent changes have made me seriously consider dumping it entirely from my courses and from my life. The new layout is messy and confused and ends up giving me eye strain. Those Picked For You pins are trashing my feed and despite clicking on the little cross, they won’t go away. I genuinely dislike other people dictating what I should see – that’s why we have the bloody internet! I hate that I’m missing out on all those interesting ideas shared by people I actually follow. I don’t usually stress about website changes on social media, I just roll with them. But if a platform changes in an unhelpful way, and it becomes too frustrating to use, I’ll drop it like an alcoholic boyfriend.
I’m just a plain ‘ol everyday Pinterest user and not a member of any significance certainly, and all I know is….I’m not using Pinterest much anymore because it’s no longer useful or enjoyable. It’s frustrating and that’s driving me away, so I’m not seeing the ads or anything else they are now pushing. Counterproductive, if you ask me. They might have come up with a better way to accomplish the end goals. My visits to the site now are limited to accessing what I’ve saved within my own boards and want to revisit.
Hate the new Pinterest… I don’t like that there is no definate borders between pins any more..It seems unorganized. The bigger print is good, but borders need to be returned. Pinterest is something I look at daily, now it is making me lose interest.
I really despise the new Pinterest. It’s so hard to use and makes no sense. I have added over 8,000 pins over the past few years. The latest stupidity is that I’ve had a lot of ‘new followers’ that have 0 boards, 0 pins but 3.5k followers & 7.4k following (that was the latest one)! What the heck is that about??! And if I don’t follow them in a day or so (and I definitely DO NOT!) they usually unfollow me (fine!) I no longer know when a comment is added to a pin. I had to enable email messages and have to check regularly to see if a comment has been added! That’s insane! And there is a whole lot more! I am getting ready to ditch Pinterest. it used to be fun… Now it’s just hard work for no reason or return. I went from facebook & twitter to Pinterest a few years ago. Now I’m using twitter more and more. It just works as expected. *shrug*
Here’s something that’s been happening more frequently and is extremely frustrating. My example: the Humor feed is PACKED full of marijuana pins! Following closely behind are product ads. I have never in my life expressed interest in drugs so I have no idea where pinterest got the idea that this is content I would like to see. I go to the Humor feed to laugh but spend most of my time scrolling past unrelated content.
I am only seeing colour squares on my feeds, if I click on the colour squares (people pins) I go to the site and see the actual pin but not in my home feed. If I go into my profile I can see the pictures of my pins but not in my home feed no pictures only coloured square boxes. Can’t find the problem in the help centre so I can’t fix it.
I’m all of a sudden seeing sad dog posts on my Pinterest Feed. I engage in these issues on Facebook but it’s not what I want to see on my Pinterest page. How do I get rid of?
WOW Carrie – that’s a big deal because if that’s the case, it means Pinterest is now tracking your movements on the web, the way programmatic ads do (like the way you see an ad on a website for a product you recently browsed on Amazon).
Clear your cookies and your cache frequently and see if that takes care of it? Let us know!
I came across your article while looking for news about Pinterest’s latest change to the way they show our notifications. It was very interesting to read and explains a lot to me. Thank you for that.
When I first joined Pinterest I found it to be relaxing and fun but now it has turned into something depressing and not at all therapeutic like it once was for me. All these constant changes that have sucked out all the enjoyment of using it has made me use it less and less.
Hey Liz, thanks for your well-conceived, candid and forthright post. As a 20-year member of the Silicon Valley community, I can tell you your comments are spot-on. It’s been both sad to observe and frustrating to endure the ” evolution” of Pinterest and I’m glad to see that they have acknowledged your commentary. Keep up the good work! Steve
Thanks Steve! Time for an update on this….the changes have changed so much in the past year. I appreciate your kind words.
I “Googled” how to see the people I follow in Pinterest and your article here was one of the top hits! Thank you for this article. I used to love Pinterest; but now, every time I visit I feel like I’m seeing the same pins over and over and hardly ever from those I follow. I follow them for a reason! I hope they do pay attention and give us what we’re asking for. Or maybe some sharp cookie will come up with a better site! I will admit that I’ve also searched for sites that are similar but I hate to start over!
Thanks again for your article! I’ve removed people I don’t follow and I’ll keep clicking the X in hopes that they will make good changes!
Nearly two years later and it’s far worse! I am inundated with pins about blogging. Hey, I have a blog, started years ago. The fine art boards I’ve added are totally MIA. If I can’t see art, crystals, dolls, color palettes, the very topics I come to Pinterest to see, then maybe Instagram IS the way to go. I dunno. But I am stunned at how few pins of interest are displayed. Instead, MANY similar pins. Just how many pins do I need to see about making beeswax candles (which I have not clicked on in months)?
Pinterest is losing it. If they think we come here to see paid ads, they are badly mistaken. I don’t want to see food nor fashions. I don’t follow ONE board on those topics. Yet that’s the ads I’m seeing. They clearly have NO idea who I am nor my interests. Sad.
We have just backed off Pinterest in a big way the last two years. I had spent a lot of time making covers for each board only for the boards to change their look over and over again. I gave up with how the boards look. We don’t really pin anymore either. I don’t know if much has changed since this post was written. Today I noticed a new feature on our Pinterest account. If you click the bolt icon and then go under Home Feed and then scroll down to Home Feed you can now uncheck a box where it will not put pins “Picked for You” pins in your feed. I have no idea if that helps. Has anyone noticed any improvement to the feeds? How long does a pin take to actually hit the feeds if they do make it? Are promoted pins showing up as promoted pins or stealthily included in? Is there a difference between Picked for You pins and Promoted Pins? I still think it would be wiser to sink time into a blog rather than Pinterest since you have control over the blog and Pinterest is constantly changing and it takes too much time to try to keep up with the constant changes and well at any time they can pull the rug out from under us again with their sneaky tactics. They lost our trust and confidence they will be there for us like when we first signed up.
Was thinking it was only me til I read this!! I’m just a regular gal who “loved” Pinterest. Used to be on for hours finding so so many interesting things. Now I can only see 25 of my 80 boards. When I go to someone else’s boards to look around I only see 25 of their boards. I contacted them and was told a lot of people had this problem and to be patient they would get it fixed. A month later still the same. My feed is super short so I have to keep refreshing. uuugghh just a total hassle now. I miss the real Pinterest.
This is EXACTLY what has happened to mine! I’m so relieved to hear that it is happening to others. I’ve written to pinterest and I have followed their recommendations and it still isn’t working! Hope it gets resolved soon.
I just want to see the Pins from the people I follow. That’s it, plain and simple. And when I want ideas, I will search for them. And when I find good ideas from other pinners I will follow them so that I can see their pins in my feed. I DO NOT LIKE the “Picked for you” or their Recommendations. I hardly go on pinterest anymore b/c of these changes.
Would love to see an update on this post, Liz! Personally, I’ve pretty much given up on Pinterest.
I downloaded a chrome extension called ‘PinterestKiller’ which effectively gets rid of ‘picked for you’ type pins on your screen. As a result I now scroll through PAGES and PAGES of blank screens, with individual pins from those boards I follow dotted in between. and I can’t get rid of the ‘Ideas for you’ pins at all.
Pinterest has become nothing more than a nicer way to bookmark things I like – the community of following curated content seems a completely moot point on there these days 🙁
Does anyone know of an alternative for Pinterest? I know there are some options but they are usually for specialzsed areas so I didn’t find them intersting enough. Is anyone using Google + Collections?
Working on an update Maria! And thanks for the tip.
I’m so glad to hear you’re working on an update, this was by far the most helpful post I’ve seen. You might find it interesting that in an effort to clean things up I unfollowed everything except my friends, as I was seeing a lot of stuff that I had no interest in and wanted to “start over” with what I see in my home feed. Nothing really changed and I was frustrated so ended up unfollowing everyone. So, I’m following zero boards, zero topics and zero people right now. Still, when I go to my home feed, I see the same crap that led me down this road. It’s so frustrating, and pinterest has no information on how to stop seeing boards you’ve unfollowed. I thought that maybe things would start to go away after a while, but nothing has changed after a week. I have noted that most of the stuff I see is from boards that I’m fairly certain I never followed in the first place. Thanks for letting me vent. Since pinterest is a free website I don’t see them bothering to fix this, and I don’t know that I’m willing to pay for a service that actually works as pinterest used to. I guess we are stuck. I do with Pinterest would respect my wishes and actually block those advertisers that I’ve asked them to though!
Found your post while searching about Pinterest changes. My main issue is the search feature. If you check the same search terms one day from another you encounter the same pins. It use to update constantly. I did the ‘clear cookies’ thing then realized it was them! It’s really frustrating when you want to see new pins on a topic and get the same ones day in day out and you know there are new ones out there! I mean DIY crafts? That would get new pins hourly! Nada. Makes no difference on PC or mobile.
I’ve found that if you mark ‘suggested for you’ pins as offensive again and again daily, you will eventually get none. I also hide all promoted pins, after telling them I have no interest.
Pinterest, IMO, just says they’re listening to people. Look at how they changed notifications. You have no idea who liked/saved a pin anymore. Pinterest just gives lip service and then will do what they want. Such a shame too. Yes, I still use the site. I guess I need to learn myself more, but I can’t get any recent pins on that! 😀
I no longer see “comments” under pins on my homepage. It happened when I got the donuts. I’m so upset I hate it.
Thanks to your reader/commenter who pointed out how to turn off the “Picked for You” pins. I just wish I could see the pins from my friends in order. All they do is group a whole mess of the same type of pins (or 1-2 topics). They don’t even show what I just pinned. The main feed is monotonous and boring. Pinterest used to be a lot of fun, alas. Can’t wait for your next article on this!
After reading your post, I think I’m just going to quit Pinterest. It’s too complicated and not worth the time to fix it. I’d love to tell Pinterest to fix it or cram it but I don’t know how to contact them. I’m going to print the pics I most liked in my boards and close the account. Instagram, here I come, and I don’t even have an Instagram account, YET.
This is 2 years later and everything is WORSE! im so frustrated. I used to love Pinterest.I have something like 50 of my own pin boards.I am refurbing a home plus i garden, plus Im an artist…so I love all of the ideas that we used to get.Now its just a jumbled mess and if i go to my “home” feed it separates the categories instead of showing me them randomly. I personally like to see things that interest me without having them all be the same subject.I also follow people and have not seen their pins.They are still recommending things that do not interest me and are not anything like what is in my home feed. I have noticed so many repeats of what is “in” or what Holiday it is. I dont want to see that,i want NEW ideas,DIFFERENT ideas. They still have all of the CHINA companies on here that rip people off, just like Facebook.I wish somebody would come up with a new Pinterest, like the old one. I would jump ship and bring my old pins with me.
Yeah so they listened to us – and gave us that checkbox for the “picked for you conetent”. Splendid…
And now my page is foll of stuff I don’t want to see that is labeled with “Ideas for you” and there is not even an option to hide it.
I resorted to reporting each and every of those pins (sorry if they are by innocent pinners) as an act of protest.
They must be kidding. “Oh you don’t like this feature, well okay, here’s an ever worse one.
Those bloody pricks…
I HATE PINTEREST NOW. I will close the account.
I use to love pinterest, and would check it several times a day to find great ideas, crafts, recipes, etc. Now I seldom go there because it is so disappointing to see nothing but promoted ads. Pinterest has become nothing but advertising. I only go there now to refer to the wonderful things I collected before the ship sank.
I’m glad you started this blog!!! Amen!!
I really dislike the pins they picked for me….Jeeps? Really?… For a few weeks I was thinking ” What is this? Did someone hack into my Pinterest account? I honest thought as well that I must have pressed some button and unknowing changed the appearance of my “Everything” page. I really dislike it that I don’t see the items that I chose, know and love and it makes me a bit frustrated cause I’m thinking that I’m not getting the pins I chose when I first joined this site.
I really hope they go back to the old imagery and consider these comments from users…… please.
I feel the same . I used to open Pinterest and see things I wanted to see. Now it just looks like 50 beauty magazine ads. When did I ever sign up for any of this? I have to dig around for what I actually want to read about.
Is anyone else experiencing the issue where your pins no longer show up on Facebook? Mine used to show up in my Facebook feed as soon as I pinned something on Pinterest. This stopped happening as of March 29. And it is really annoying because what’s the point of a social network that doesn’t let me share my posts to other social networks? I’ve checked both my Facebook settings and my Pinterest settings and they are set to share my pins on my Facebook feed. So all of the pins I’ve made since March 29 have not posted to my Facebook feed that’s over 100 days this has been happening.
I found the answer. Apparently Pinterest made a non-publicized change to the pin popup window sometime after March 29. There are now 2 check boxes (one for Facebook and one for Twitter) at the BOTTOM of the pin popup window that you have to scroll down to check. I didn’t used to have to do this and all my pins posted to all 3 at the same time. And due to the recent behind the scenes changes at Pinterest I just assumed it was another one of “THOSE” and moved on to other things like living. And because I failed to notice this change and Pinterest failed to publicize the change all of my pins since March 30th have not posted to either my Facebook or Twitter feeds. Score another victory for unwanted changes to Pinterest.
I love this blog post. it would have answered problems I had about 2 years ago. My lil sister got me hooked. she knows I am a hobbyist. I love to garden and gather new techniques and ideas to help around my garden, I love to bead and sew and crochet and love to find new ideas to fiddle around with that, I have pets and love to find new creations like fun activities for her and I to do. or even fun builds for her to run through outside with. about 6 months ago I was having trouble with pinterest not showing me anything pass one to two scrolls of my wheel. legit saying there was nothing more to see with the search words I used. (this wasn’t normal obviously as the words I used should have and HAVE generated loads of pins) then it was better again. then it was loads of ”picked for you” never got the ideas for you though. just picked for you few were good. loads were crap. NOW.. I have just 29 people that I follow. family and friends mostly and just a few with boards that I love everything on. BUT, I don’t see ANY OF THEM AT ANY TIME. it use to be JUST the friends and family I was following would be seen on my home page. now I don’t see a single one. I keep going to my following page to make sure im still following them and its not a glitch. they are all there. but Im ONLY getting adds on my home page. I now have to bypass the main page and head straight to everyone’s actual page to see their pins. I hate it. and I cant get rid of these other pinners that Im not even following. and to flag them all out of retaliation which sounds like something of a good idea. would take for ever. where did my friend’s pin’s go? Im sad. Im still a novice pinner after all these years. I only pin for myself and no one else. you like it, great!! pin it. you don’t, most on. its no harm. I pin because I love the ideas and love finding new ones from my friends. … my sister didn’t even know you could message people on pinterest.. that’s how bad it is lol.. well.. thanks for this blog. at least I know Im not alone.
well I guess nvm. I figured out what happened. I went to go start to report pins. just stating I don’t want to see this.. and then you click report. so I did. and it popped up with further help to this unwated pin. come to find out it was going to ask me to block my aunt.. what they did was take away the person who pinned it in your friend’s list. so now I have no idea who pinned what. not that its nessassary to know who pinned what in my case. but I love knowing my sister is up to and what she pins. now I have to guess or go to the pin to find out. its stupid. still hate it though.
I feel I can offer the opposite opinion to many views in the comments here. I don’t follow anyone! Why would I? No one’s tastes are exactly like mine, and if I follow someone’s board, all I get is a “few” things we might have in common, and then EVERYTHING ELSE I don’t want to see. I keep all my boards private as I use them like visual bookmarks for ideas I want to revisit when I need visual stimulation curated to me specifically.
It used to be every time I opened my pinterest feed I would get loads of new pins that would have some relation to items I had recently pinned – this is perfect for my use case. Unfortunately in the last week or two refreshing my feed list doesn’t present me with any new options, just same pins from the previous day, and the day before that. It shouldn’t be that I get nothing new to browse because I am not following any boards.
Other things to note: some of the “picked for you” have been way off base, and I detest being fed paid advertising pins so I block everyone of them whenever they show up in my feed. I would HAPPILY pay for an ad-free service on a monthly or annual fee.
I’m not seeing anything but a forever spinning circle. The page never loads. Since Pinterest is now useless to me, I wish to close my account.
Now the new thing is just pinning random pins and when i try to unfollow the board or pinner, it shows that im not even following them. So i cant even get rid of the junk pins by unfollowing them. The only choice is to block the pinner. Which im doing. Maybe it will wake pinterest up to the fact that they DON’T know better than me as to what i like. Pinterest isnt even enjoyable anymore. I spend less time there. So, Thanks pinterest for freeing up my spare time by deprioritizing your website for me.
It’s two years later and things are getting worse. I used to love Pinterest and would spend hours perusing the site. But now my feed is overwhelmed with junk I don’t want to see from pinners I don’t follow. Apparently they didn’t listen to any of us. It’s sad because now I only go on to look at one of my boards when I need an idea. Very sad indeed.
It is just sad to see so many big companies jumping on the monetization bandwagon, without even thinking of their fan-base and also their reputation as well. Facebook did it with organic reach and now Pinterest. It is indeed frustrating for actual content creators who love using the platform!
The good news is that FINALLY they’ve added a (slightly hard to find) “following” tab up top, so you can keep your home feed exclusive to people you follow. So there’s some progress? I still wish though that it was chronological and they didn’t stop me from seeing EVERYTHING my favorite pinners pin, short of remembering to go right to their own pages. Sigh.
So sad to see this article is four years old, and things have only gotten worse. Its like they’ll try anything BUT giving pinners what we want. The latest is to turn the Following tab into a single column on the phone app, and to remove pin descriptions from the feed altogether. I was hoping maybe someone had a hack to restore the grid view to the phone – after all, if I wanted Instagram, I’d just use Instagram. I think I might try uptodown and go for an older app version that doesn’t suck. Just wish they’d LISTEN to their users, and take the hint!
No one is going to change anything. They have evolved from a social network to a visual search engine/bulletin board/bookmarking site. So…we move on.
On my Pinterest phone app, I go to a board of someone I’m following, and pin something. My screen then automatically goes back to the top of that board, completely losing my place. Getting back down to that same place takes a long time of searching through pins I’ve already seen. This is absolutely horrible and takes all the fun out of it. Pinterest is acting like a psycho control freak, trying to discourage us from pinning more than one thing from any particular board. And darkening an image after we pin it means: do not pin this more than one time! Can someone please buy the company and restore it to the way it was?
Just found your article and really appreciate the info about the new(ish) ‘following’ tab as I was just on the verge of deleting Pinterest altogether (and I have been with them since beta-testing!) Almost unusable the way it is now 🙁
I haven’t read all of the comments, but I think I figured something out. I noticed that some URLs ended in /pins/ and some didn’t so I tested with my own. If you don’t add /pins/ to the URL, you’ll get the choice of seeing that pinner’s board, pins, tries, and topics (though the last two don’t interest me). If the word /pins/ is added to the URL, you’ll get the pinner’s pins in chronological order, with the most recent at the top. So something did change!
I’m going through Pinterest’s help file, looking for something, and I found the following:
Picked for you Pins are Pins that we recommend based on the boards you create, Pins you save, and things you search for on Pinterest.
Your home feed is a blend of Picked for you Pins and Pins from the people, topics, and boards you follow. If you’d rather see only Pins from people, boards, and topics that you follow, check out your Following tab.
You can hide individual Picked for you Pins to help Pinterest understand the kinds of Pins you want to see.
— I know this article is old, and the web changes fast. But thought you’d like to see that one of your pet peeves has been fixed, kinda. Seems we can’t eliminate “picked for you” but we can teach it what we don’t like by hiding something.