How to Refine Your Pinterest Feed (2020)

You're scrolling through your Pinterest feed and you see some lovely nature picture, delicious-looking three-ingredient recipes, interesting fashion tips, and then.... a step-by-step guide on how to clean a motorcycle helmet? You don't even have a motorcycle!

It wouldn't be a big deal if Pinterest usually got their recommended pins spot on. Since this isn't generally the case, check out these tips that can help make Pinterest more relevant to you.

What Exactly Does It Mean to Refine Your Pinterest Feed?

If you've ever tried out Pinterest, you've likely noticed Pinterest really tries to hone in on your interests. This may not exactly be the most shocking revelation, as the name Pinterest is literally pin + interest.

Every social media platform tries to do this in their own way. Pinterest utilizes a complex and interesting machine-learning algorithm to try to show you what you like and hide anything else. This algorithm tries its best to understand you based on your Pinterest activity, your gender, your location, and much more. Many little factors play into why you're seeing certain pins at any given time.

So why might it feel like your recommended pins can still be kind of irrelevant? Well, for starters, their algorithm is still a work in progress. On top of that though, humans are so complex! For example, two people can both be searching for "snacks for football game". However, it might turn out that Person #1 is an American mom looking for elaborate Super Bowl recipes, while Person #2 is a British grandfather interested in making a simple lunch he can pack up and take to a local football (soccer) tournament.

To optimize your Pinterest experience, you should work with the Pinterest algorithm to make your home feed best fitted to you, because it likely will not be able to completely figure out exactly what you're looking for on its own.

Maybe this sounds like a lot of work. After all, when you log into Pinterest after a long day of work, you're probably looking to unwind, not hack social media algorithms. You won't have to do anything difficult, as Pinterest makes it easy for you to indicate whether you're liking or disliking the content that they're showing you.

We'll walk you through some simple steps you can take to refine your Pinterest feed as of September 2020. Much of this tutorial is designed for users of the iPhone Pinterest app, however it is likely relevant across all other platforms as well.

The Pinterest home feed

Should You Take the Time to Do These Steps?

The great thing about your Pinterest feed is that it can be like your own little world. Let's say that you just finished a tough final exams week and you're ready to start planning a relaxing celebratory vacation to Cancun; wouldn't it be great to have your recommended pins be Cancun itineraries, travel ideas, and beach pictures? You probably don't want to see study tips and motivation anymore, which would have been relevant to you the week before.

Hopefully, you get my point; your Pinterest feed can morph and change with your mood and current aspirations. All-in-all, this just makes it tremendously more useful and engaging. This is why Pinterest works so hard to sculpt an efficient algorithm to cater to your interests; they actually want you to keep using the app!

The steps we'll discuss today are simple and straightforward. There really isn't much work required at all and it's just useful information for active Pinterest users who want to maximize their Pinterest experience.

The Steps to Hide an Irrelevant Pin

Sometimes, you just have no clue why a certain pin is on your feed. Maybe it's relevant to other users with your preferences. For example, if Pinterest finds that you're interested in "healthy recipes" you may begin to see a plethora of vegan recipes on your feed. This could be because many vegan users search for healthy recipes, or perhaps "healthy vegan recipes" is a common search term.

When this happens, you should hide the irrelevant pin so Pinterest knows you didn't like it. It may seem like a hassle, but it's extremely easy and worth the effort.

We've experienced moderate success with hiding pins; sometimes it makes no difference at all and other times it really helps shape the home feed. You can think of it more as a feature that allows you to slowly mold your feed; hiding one pin may not make a huge difference. However, if you keep hiding pins that you don't like, you will start to see your feed better tailored to your preferences over time.

Below are the steps to hide a pin and tell Pinterest that it was irrelevant to you:

1) When you notice a pin on your feed that is irrelevant to you, start by lightly pressing down on the three white dots to the bottom right of the pin. This will activate 3D touch and three buttons will pop up.

Press down on the three dots

2) Click the middle button as indicated below. This button will hide the pin from your feed.

Hide Button

3) Select 'It's irrelevant to me' or whichever reason is most relevant to you.

Select 'It's irrelevant to me'.

The pin will now be hidden. Try to repeat this process whenever you see a pin that does not fit in with your ideal feed to best take advantage of this feature.

The pin will be hidden

The Steps to Tune Your Home Feed

There's a less passive measure that can be taken to "fix-up" your home feed, which is tuning it. This is handy if you've been searching for something or looking through a certain set of pins, but you don't want this topic to influence your home feed. For example, if you need a quick pancake recipe and search through a few pins, but don't actually want to see pancake related pins on your feed, this feature is for you.

1) In the bottom navigation bar, tap the rightmost button. This should be a circle with your profile picture, possibly labeled "Saved".

Click 'Saved'

2) Go to your Settings by tapping the bolt symbol in the top-right corner.


3) Tap 'Account settings'.

Go to 'Account settings'

4) Scroll down until you see an option labeled 'Home feed'. Select this.

Home Feed

5) In a top navigation bar, you will see three tabs: 'Board' (the tab you are currently on), 'History', and 'Topics.'

Go to 'History'.

Go to 'History'

6) You will now see all the pins that you've viewed in chronological order. You can scroll through this find any pin that you do not want to affect your home feed. Under that pin, tap the 'Turn off" button. This will change the button to say "Turn on", which you can tap again to reverse your decision.

You can now scroll through your feed and turn off any pins that do not reflect your interests. You'll notice that pins that you've looked at by accident, pins that you've looked at and then disliked, and pins that you've only tapped to scroll passed will all be listed here; these are some of the pins that you can consider turning off.

Turn off

How Can You See More of What You Like?

Now that you're seeing less of the pins that you don't want to see, there are some simple measures you can take to see pins more refined in your interest.

  1. Pin, like, and engage more with pins that interest you. You likely do this naturally, but just know that when you do this, you're telling Pinterest to show you more pins like the one with which you engaged.
  2. Refine the topics that you follow. You can do this in the 'Home feed' settings mentioned in step 4 of The Steps to Tune Your Home Feed section of this article above.
  3. Decided which of your pins and board most affect your pin recommendations. You can do this in the 'Home feed' settings mentioned in step 4 of The Steps to Tune Your Home Feed section of this article above.


How Did We Feel About These Features?

The fact that the Pinterest algorithm works with users to display the most relevant pins is beneficial for users, advertisers, and pretty much everyone else involved (except maybe the engineers who have to create this algorithm). We would love Pinterest to go further by adding even more simple and explicit ways that users can clarify and specify preferences surrounding their home feed, but this is a great start.