How to Send Private Messages on Pinterest

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Get Started with Sending Private Messages on Pinterest

Pinterest Private Messaging
Photo © mrPliskin / Getty Images

As of August 2014, Pinterest is the fourth largest social networking site on the web with an estimated 250 million monthly active users. With that amount of people using the site to browse and pin all sorts of stuff, it only makes sense that Pinterest would introduce a more direct way to contact, communicate and collaborate with other users that don't exclusively involve leaving them a public comment on one of their pins.

Everyone with a Pinterest account now has their own private inbox that they can use to privately send pins and text-based messages to other users. Here's how you can use yours -- both on the web and on mobile -- if you're not quite sure where to start.

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On the Web: Look in the Bottom Left Corner and Top Right Corner

Pinterest Private Messaging
Screenshots of Pinterest.com

Where Can You Access Your Messages?

So, you've signed in to your Pinterest account on a laptop or desktop computer and have no idea where you're supposed to find your new private messaging inbox. Well, there are two main places you can look.

The floating user profile bubbles on the bottom left corner of your screen: If you have any received or ongoing messages, you'll see floating bubbles of user profile photos to the left of your screen. Click one to access the conversation in a pop-up chat box, which you can use to reply instantly.

The pushpin notification icon in the top right corner next to your username: Click the notification icon, and look for a link at the top labeled messages, which will show you a list of the conversations you're having on Pinterest. You can start a new message from here as well, by clicking the + icon and typing the name of the user you want to chat within the "To:" field, which all automatically pull up a list of suggested users to choose from.

Some Things You Should Know...

You can send one message to multiple users: You can send a single message to multiple Pinterest users. In the "To:" field, simply type and select the users you want to receive the message.

You can only send messages to users who are following you: Unfortunately, it doesn't look like you send a private message to just any Pinterest user, even if you're following them. They must be following you back if you want to be able to message them. It only makes sense in order to prevent spam.

You can send individual pins, boards, user profiles and text messages: You can send all sorts of things through Pinterest's private messaging system, including a single pin, an entire board, a specific user's profile and simple text-based messaging. More on this in the next slide.

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On the Web: Send Your Message

Pinterest Private Messaging
Screenshots of Pinterest.com

How to Start a Conversation Privately about a Pin, a Board, a Profile or a Text-based Message?

As mentioned in the previous slide, clicking the "Messages" link from the Notifications icon in the top right corner will allow you to view your past or ongoing messages and send new ones. Once you start up a new message, which will bring up a message box after you choose who you want to chat with and then click "Next," you'll be able to drag and drop pins right into the message to be sent.

The other way you can send a message is by looking for the "Send" button anywhere around Pinterest as you're browsing the site. The "Send" option was available previous to the messaging system rollout, but now it's evolved to become a starting place for initiating private conversations.

Click the "Send" button on any individual pin: Hover your mouse over any individual pin, and you'll see a "Pin It" and a "Send" button appear. Press "Send" to automatically send it to one or more users, which starts a new message conversation.

Click the "Send Board" button on any board: You can also send full boards through private messaging. Just look for the "Send Board" button at the top every Pinterest board to send it to one or multiple users.

Click the "Send Profile" button on any user's profile: Finally, you can recommend user accounts via private message by clicking the "Send Profile" button located at the top of every Pinterest user's profile.

Any time you send a new message -- whether it be by clicking one of the "Send" buttons or by starting a new one from your Notifications >> Messages area -- all sent messages will prompt a pop-up message box to appear in the bottom left corner, along with user profile photo bubbles along the side to show all current ongoing messages with users.

A tiny red notification number will appear on the user's bubble when they've answered. You can close any message by hovering your mouse over the user's profile photo bubble and clicking the black "X."

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On Mobile: Tap the Notifications Icon to View Your Messages

Pinterest Private Messaging
Screenshots of Pinterest for iOS

Private messaging on Pinterest's web version is great, but on its mobile apps is where the new feature probably shines the most. To keep everything streamlined, private messaging on the mobile apps is just as simple and similar to doing it on the web.

Find Your Messages in the Notifications Tab

To access your private messaging inbox, look for the double pushpin icon in the menu at the bottom of the screen, which is what you press to view notifications. You can switch between "You" and "Messages" here, showing you a similar layout of your messages compared to the web version.

Tap any ongoing message (or press "New message" to start a new one) to bring up the message box, which looks almost identical to what appears in the bottom left corner of the web version.You can tap "Add a message" at the bottom to start typing something, or tap the pushpin icon in the bottom left corner to search for a pin to send.

Message management tip: In "Messages" view, swipe left on any message so that an option labeled "Hide" appears. Tap it to get rid of any conversation from your inbox whenever you're finished with it. This is comparable to clicking the "X" on the user bubble in Pinterest's web version

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On Mobile: Long Press Any Pin to Send It in a Message

Pinterest Private Messaging
Screenshots of Pinterest for iOS

The Notifications tab is really the main gateway to all your messages, but you can also start a new private conversation by sending a pin or an entire board even when you're in the middle of browsing. Just like on the web, you'll use the "Send" button to do that.

Tap and Hold Your Finger Down to Send

Simply long press (tap and hold down for a second or two) any pin, and you should see three new buttons pop up. Look for the one that resembles a paper airplane, which represents the "Send" button.

Press "Send' to automatically open a new message box. You can choose one or multiple users to send it to, and add an option text-based message. Recipients will be able to reply to your message with pins or other text-based messages.

When viewing boards, you should see a paper airplane "Send" icon at the top as well, which allows you to send entire boards when you're busy browsing. At the time being, it doesn't look like there are any "Send" options for user profiles on mobile.

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Block or Report Any Users Who Are Bothering You

Pinterest Private Messaging
Screenshots of Pinterest.com & Pinterest for iOS

The ability to privately message users now through Pinterest makes communicating a lot more convenient, but with this new feature also comes the risk of receiving unwanted messages from certain users. You can block or report any user you wish to end communication with at any time.

How to Block or Report a User on the Web

You can block or report someone on Pinterest.com from the message box opened in the bottom left corner. Simply hover your mouse over the top area of the message box to see a tiny gray flag icon appear and click it to block the user entirely from contacting you, or choose to report them for inappropriate activity.

How to Block or Report a User on Mobile

Within the Pinterest mobile apps, you should see a tiny gray gear icon located at the top of an opened private message with any user you're currently chatting with. Tap that gear icon to pull up a list of options that allow you to block or report the user.

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