Oh Pinterest, What Have You Done?

Last year, I was finally convinced to start taking Pinterest seriously, not only as a fantastic resource but as an easy and successful way to promote my blog posts to a new audience. It was initially a massive learning curve and it seemed to take forever to set up – rich pins, vertical images, SEO friendly descriptions, group boards, BoardBooster… There were a number of times when I wanted to delete my account and throw my laptop against the wall, but through the support and patience of my bloggy friend, I finally had an account that I was proud of.

And low and behold, the views started coming in. It was small at first – around April of last year I was receiving a few hundred views a month, but by September they had skyrocketed to the point where I was getting close to 20,000 for the month. Not bad for a newbie.

My referrals from Pinterest remained fairly steady after that at the 10,000-15,000 mark, with occasional spikes when I shared a new post. I loved it and used it more than any other area of social media, not just for my own blog, but for useful recipes, thrifty ideas, beauty tips and cleaning hacks from new blogs that I found.

That is, until February, when Pinterest’s functionality and effectiveness suddenly took a nosedive, although I know that it was earlier than that for others. With update after update after bloody update, I’ve spent the last six weeks in Pinterest hell, desperately attempting to figure out how new things worked. The layout changed to something less attractive and not as user friendly. My title doesn’t fit the space. I’ve had boards move around by themselves, or completely disappear and then return again and there’s been some days where I’ve not been able to use the search function at all. My images sometimes don’t show correctly. I was suddenly followed by a whole bunch of spam accounts. The once informative and useful posts I received in my feed have been replaced with lots of adverts, my own pins or pins from people I don’t follow. I can’t message people. When I’ve tried adding people to my group board their invitation hasn’t gone through. Instead of seeing requests directly in my notifications, they are now mixed in with a whole bunch of things that other people have saved.

And worse still, my views disappeared over the course of a week to less than half of what I was getting before and have remained so ever since.

Then, to add the icing on the (what is turning out to be) very bitter cake, I sat down with The Bloke to help him set up a Pinterest account, to support his new photography website. After setting up the boards and starting to pin some beautiful images, ALL of the descriptions completely disappeared. Thinking it was another glitch, The Bloke emailed Pinterest, only to be told that his account was being used as a tester for their ‘image only’ Pinterest layout despite the fact that he hadn’t been asked first nor given permission for them to do this, and he was NOT allowed to opt out of it. The descriptions are still there when someone else looks at his boards, but this is what one of them looks like from his account on his iPad:

I hate it. It makes it really slow to pin things, having to click on each pin to access the description (which seems ridiculous now they’ve added in a faster pinning tool), and it looks bare.

I’m not the only one to have experienced huge difficulties. Speaking to numerous bloggers within my community, almost all have had problems. Reports of an enormous drop in views, disappearing boards, poorly functioning search options and spam accounts are rife, so I feel confident in saying that the platform seems to be in a bit of a mess.

The Bloke is an IT Technician and Web Designer, so I understand that updates need to be done to ensure that everything works properly, particularly of something this size, but this has been much more than an update – it’s undergone an entire revamp, one that nobody appears to have wanted (highlighting the whole ‘if something isn’t broken, why fix it?) and it has been a less than positive experience for many. Of course, there’s always the argument that it is a free resource to use, but it may have been an easier pill to swallow if the Pinterest community had actually been consulted first, as it is them that makes the platform a success.

I just hope that it stops soon and I can get back to appreciating what is the most visually pleasing and interesting and fun way to blog!

What about you guys? Have you had issues with Pinterest since the updates?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

104 thoughts on “Oh Pinterest, What Have You Done?

  1. Really loved reading your post. I’m also a Pinterest fanatic and have been since early 2015. Love anything Pinny related!! There have been a ton of annoying updates like you say. I’ve not really had problems with descriptions disappearing like you have but I have definitely been followed by weird spammy accounts showing a photo of a woman called Richard or Arthur which is slightly freaky. Is that what you had? I can’t live without Pinterest though. It’s such an invaluable resource both for everything under the sun plus the traffic it sends to our blogs is pretty awesome. Hope all the buggy bits are straightened out soon and I agree it’s far less pleasing to the eye now ☹️ I’ll go follow you now 😘
    Samantha x

  2. I have had problems! But I thought it was just me or using my Ipad instead of my laptop. All of my secret boards are gone and several of my regular boards! Frustrating. It used to be so fun!

  3. I actually found it problematic when I tried it a year or two ago, the interface seemed odd and I was having trouble pinning posts instead of just images…which sounds like what your bloke had going on…so I stopped…just started again thanks to Big Up Your Blog…but I haven’t used it enough to run into these problems…I am just wondering now if its worth the effort. I’ll stay tuned for further updates! πŸ™‚

  4. I haven’t seen a dip in traffic but I too hate the constant changes. The notifications I really can’t stand, it seems the bigger something gets the worse instead of better it gets just like Facebook.

  5. Despite my efforts to draw in traffic to my blog with Pinterest, it just doesn’t. I mainly used pinterest now for ideas, and yes, I’ll pin my blog posts and images, but all my resins are from pins I re-pinned. Never been a good source for my blog. Now it sounds like huge waste of time other than for fun. Twitter, FBT and Instagram are my best referrers to my blog. Goodles luck to you and the Bloke and hope you figure it out!

    • Thanks Terri! I can’t get to grips with Instagram – I find that really difficult to maintain a following because of the whole cutthroat follow/unfollow nonsense…

  6. I don’t use it well, which is probably reflected in the number of people it has sent to my blog – 1. I haven’t noticed anything terribly weird and certainly no women called Derek.

  7. I never did get my head around Pinterest, why I knew people loved it, I found it hard to understand the concept. Now I just get lots of annoying emails. When I have time, I will try again, I think I have found a theme I could stick with. Sorry for your pain

  8. I am new to Pinterest and I still have to figure out how it works! It all seems so complicated and unfortunately I am not paying enough attention to it as I should! I hope you get the hang of it with all the new updates! It’s so annoying when you get used to something and then it changes into something worse! 😦 Monica x

  9. I did try Pinterest once but I moved slowly and surely towards Instagram and Snapchat for picture sharing. I can say that I have also dealt with the “constant updates” problem. Instagram just had one where you can now save pictures and link multiple ones together, which seems like another “like” button to me. Also, Snap updates regularly but since I have a smaller phone the updates for me are way behind. However, your problems with Pinterest make Instagram look like a piece of cake! Do you have insta?

  10. Hi! Although I don’t get a lot of traffic from Pinterest…yet πŸ˜‰, I do enjoy using it and building up my following, reading posts and so on. But the last 6 weeks or so have been glitchy. I wasn’t seeing any pin descriptions at all in my feed for about 3 weeks, a bit like the Bloke seems to be experiencing but in my feed rather than boards themselves. This made it really hard to repin decent and relevant content. This has now rectified itself, phew! But I have invited people to group boards and it says “pending?” – no idea what is going on there! And I had 7 notifications today that random people have added hundreds of pins to dozens of boards. Why am I being told this?
    I do enjoy Pinterest very much but yes, it has been very trying of late. Glad to read I’m not alone in my frustrations!

  11. Lots of swear words. Just swear words and disappointment.

    Swear words and disappointments would be a great name for a new blog.

    Are yours coming back yet? I’m hoping they come back.

  12. I’ve been thinking of deleting mine (not because I hate it but because I’m not using it and I think that looks bad). Now, I don’t know what to think. I’m not even sure I’ve seen these changes. It might benefit me since I didn’t know what I was doing so it won’t be much of a change. ??? But, I did like the chance to write a little description. I’m not sure what they’re thinking this will accomplish. Are they trying to differentiate themselves from G+ and Instagram?

  13. I am new to blogging and have just started pinning my blogs to Pinterest but I’m not sure if I’m doing it right honestly. It looks like I’m just pinning them on my boards instead of pinning them for the public. Maybe that’s right idk.

  14. I just can’t grasp Pinterest at all. Years gone by I’d have had the time to research all these things, now I don’t so unless it’s simple i get frustrated and throw in the towel. One of these days I’ll get to sit down and read all your helpful guides I bookmarked πŸ™‚
    I hate it that just as we get used to something they switch it around. Seems to happen a lot these days, something is always changing.

  15. I like a description with the photos but I must admit I now embed my blogpost title within the picture itself. I couldn’t see the point of Pinterest when I first started & stopped using it but a year or so ago Elena Peters helped me understand Pinterest and now I do love it. I don’t like knowing what other people are pinning/sharing and not overkeen on the group boards concept I’m afraid, I belong to a couple of group boards but I prefer making up my own. 😊

  16. I have not used pintrest in a while, but I’ve been thinking of giving it another go. But the changes you mention does not go on the positive side on my pro and con list.

    • You should definitely have an account set up with your posts in a board. It’s certainly worth having an account, and then you can start pinning them out over time

  17. I’m lucky if I get half a dozen hits from Pinterest a day. I really am trying, but it just doesn’t seem to bring me much traffic….

  18. Oh no!
    Thank you for sharing this. My other half uses pinterest a lot. I used it to find images when I was getting married but I never thought of using it to promote my blog. Ah well. It sounds like I may have missed the boat on this!

  19. My jaw is still in the dropped position after hearing your views. Even at half, that’s insane! I had 32 in February and 17 in March. I must be doing something very wrong.

  20. Yes my pet hate now is that when I go onto Pinterest all I see are pins from people I don’t follow and can’t see mine either. It’s very silly.

  21. I think I must have joined Pinterest in the middle of all these issues as it’s never felt like the best SM platform to me personally. When I add a new pin to my blog board, half the time the image doesn’t show. I think the number of blog views from Pinterest have increased but they’re not huge so I don’t know if that’s a glitch or whether it’s just because l’m a newbie!

  22. ! I think the number of blog views from Pinterest have increased but they’re not huge so I don’t know if that’s a glitch or whether it’s just because l’m a newbie!

    • You’ll learn it over time based on your stats – you’ll start getting an idea of how much you’re getting on a regular basis. Do you have the Pinterest analytics?

  23. I noticed that it seemed a little different when I was setting mine up today. I really like to read descriptions before I click on links because I feel like so many of them are just clickbait or links to aggregators. I’ve only ever used Pinterest for personal pins (not blog-based ones), so I think I’m about to embark on another learning curve. Sorry to hear your views are going down– that’s no fun!

  24. I think the number of blog views from Pinterest have increased but they’re not huge so I don’t know if that’s a glitch or whether it’s just because l’m a newbie! I know – I’m in a number of them

  25. Hi, I am a newbie at this whole blogging lark but so far I am really enjoying it. However, as I am new my traffic is pretty low but I have so many ideas and really want to help people! Is there any advice you can give me on how to increase my traffic? Also, how do you use pinterest in regards to promoting your blog? I have it for personal use but didn’t consider it for blog use.

    Thanks in advance! x

    • Those are two massive topics in itself – check out my Blogging Advice section in my menu for posts that may be useful, feel free to give me a shout with any specific questions…

Comments are closed.