To ‘Like’ or not to ‘Like’ Pinterest Pins?

This is for my step daughter, Rebecca, who joined me on Pinterest some time ago. She called me up and asked: “What is the point of ‘Liking’ Pins ‘H’? Could you do a blog on that please? As I haven’t got a clue and never do.”

So, here I am. I did some exploratory work across the net and within Pinterest itself and there isn’t a lot of information about this conundrum. However, I have managed to get some useful reasoning behind why one should ‘Like’ before saving that Pin from a couple of blogs, which are quite old, however relevant.  This is what I found..........

I must admit I don’t ‘Like’ very often, on my Boards of 74,000 + Pins (I’m a bit of a ‘Hoarder’), I only have 1,000 ‘Likes’ and I’ve not looked at those for a long time. From my point of view, if I’m saving a Pin, then surely I ‘Like’ it’? Why would I ‘Like’ a Pin and not ‘Save’ it? My philosophy was I ‘Liked’ a Pin if I didn’t have a Board it would sit on or it was something that I liked, but didn’t necessarily want to save. No way, you’re probably saying under your breath.

Pinning with abandon

Unfortunately, I re-Pin and ‘Save’ with abandon and researching this blog has made me consider the way in which I Pin.

I’ve found that there is a little more behind using the ‘Like’ heart icon on a Pinterest Pin. It appears the ‘Like’ is quite necessary.

Below are a few snippets I picked up that got me thinking about the way in which I Pin:

Alison, the blogger behind the ‘LongDistanceLoving’ blog agreed with Isra of ‘The Frugalette’ that ‘Liking’ is all that they do when using Pinterest on their phones. The reasoning behind this being it was an easy way to bookmark Pins that caught their eye on the go, without having to commit to saving the Pin.

A major gripe across the board is the risk of Pins leading to SPAM, random tumblr or in fact a blog which isn’t the original source of the Pin. This is key. Pin etiquette is to ensure when you ‘Save’ a Pin it leads to the original source and isn’t SPAM.

So if you don’t have time to check the Pin out, liking it saves it for later, when you do have time to ensure the Pin has original sourcing behind it. And if it hasn’t, you should do all you can to find its origin and if you can’t find it you don’t ‘Save’ it and unlike it too. If you don’t ‘Save’ it, it eliminates spreading Pins that aren’t sourced correctly.

Keeping Pinterest 'Honest'

Keeping Pinterest ‘honest’ is the key objective here, which Alison feels is in everyone’s best interest. And if it leads to SPAM, you should report it.

As a result of Alison’s blog, there were a few comments:

“I totally use like for things I don’t want to Pin. Or things I want to Pin later”.

“I usually only hit ‘Like’ when I want to revisit something on a big computer then unlike when I do, it’s more of a reminder, I don’t see its use otherwise”.

“I am a serial-liker. I like before I ‘Save’ ALWAYS, if I can’t find the original source, I don’t ‘Save’, PERIOD. Keep Pinterest pure!”

“I use it the same way you do, now that I’m being careful about only pinning from original sources! I also LIKE Pins that don’t fit my Boards, even if they are sourced properly, because I want to keep my boards on mission”.

“I do this! I always ‘Like’ things and then wait a few days, if I still like it, then I ‘Save’ it. If not, I unlike it”.

“I use ‘Like’ to keep track of Boards of things I have an interest in but don’t want to follow.”

“I see your logic in liking first, but I don’t have the patience to do that and then go back and check sources and then sort the Pins. I Pin exactly to the Board the item belongs to and if I go back to explore that Pin and it’s a dead end or bogus, I just delete it.”

The real power of 'Liking'

One comment, I found interesting in particular was that the article had missed out the real power of ‘Liking’, that in fact it strongly affects what is shown in your feed. Pinterest provides related ‘Pins’ to that which you ‘Like’ or ‘Save’, so you get more of what you ‘Like’ and ‘Save’.

Paul Sciarra, Co-Founder, Pinterest, commented on one of Quora’s blogs, ‘What is the point of liking a Pin on Pinterest?’. “We added ‘Like’ early on because:

"Sometimes folks want to express their appreciation for a Pin without having a dedicated pinboard where they could repin it; and

"We found some people used ‘Like’ as a way to quickly collect Pins before later repining them to an appropriate pinboard.

“That said, like v. repin/save v. comment were and are a hotly-debated (in a good way!) set of interactions at Pinterest.”

Tailwind’s blog, ‘Likes for Pinterest Marketing’, shared three quick tips for using Pinterest ‘Likes’ effectively.

“Like” and thank those who share your content

This was more about thanking Pinners for re-Pinning your Pins. That it’s better not to use a re-Pin as a thank you for sharing your content across Pinterest. Tailwind said: “To avoid flooding your followers with your own repined content, simply ‘Like’ the Pin and leave a comment!” Now the question is, do you have to ‘Like’ as well as leave a comment? And no you don’t. You can ‘Comment’ on the re-Pin to say thank you for sharing it, it’s not necessary to ‘Like’ it too.

“Like” content to share on other networks

In a roundabout way, this was referring to time-sensitive content that you wouldn’t want to re-Pin, as the Pin wouldn’t be relevant in a few weeks’ or months’ time. The Pin be promoting a sale of a product for example. However, you may want to ‘Like’ the Pin so that you can go back to it later to share it on an alternative social media platform.

Remember – “Likes” are visible to others!

Yes, ‘Likes’ are visible to anyone who takes a look at your Home Page. The only Pins that aren’t visible to others are those on your ‘Secret Boards’. I have read some comments where the Pinners have assumed that if they ‘Like’ the Pin, no-one else will see it. Comments such as “Or things I don’t want my followers to see I like”.

A couple of other people got back to me after asking the question in a FaceBook Group and two different reasons, from a Business’ page point of view were:

“Like them first and then schedule them to pin, or repin at a better time to be seen. Also liking is faster than repinning!”

“It's a strategy so you can pin more related content in one go instead of pinning randomly.”

My initial reaction to my Step Daughter’s question, was “To be perfectly honest I haven’t got a clue and I can’t understand why there’s a ‘Like’ button.” Now I do. I also know how and when to use it.

I’m not sure how many other Pinners know though, as I regularly get a ‘Like’, then straight away a ‘Save’ of quite a number of my Pins.

All in all, it’s all about what makes you happy and if you like to like, ‘Like’!

Do you like to 'Like'?  Let me know in the comment box below.


I'm Heather Love and I'm the one researching and writing the posts on this blog. My ambition is to provide you with useful, straight-forward insights on how to benefit from using Pinterest on a personal basis or as a route to drive traffic to your website, so that you can sell more products and services online.

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