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Pinterest introducing new secret boards feature

Pinterest is putting the "secret" in Secret Santa this year.

The virtual corkboard site is slowly rolling out a test that will allow users to create three secret boards — perfect for keeping holiday gift ideas hidden.

According to the Pinterest blog, secret boards have long been one of the most frequently requested features.

"We hope that secret boards will make Pinterest even more useful," Pinterest software engineer Evrhet Milam wrote. "You can use secret boards to keep track of holiday gifts, plan a special event, or work on a project you aren't yet ready to share with the rest of the world." Or just keep the classified pins to yourself, perhaps inviting a few friends and family members to join.

Secret boards are just that — secret. Hidden from public view elsewhere on Pinterest, the only place to see what has been pinned to that board is with direct access to it. Existing boards cannot be made private, Milam said, because other people may have already re-pinned its contents.

When 'pinners' receive entry to the world of secret boards, adding one is simple: visit your profile and scroll down to the bottom, then click "Create a Secret Board." Also, users can click "Add+" in the top right corner of the Pinterest page, select "Create Board," and turn the secret button on.

Mobile users can conspire, as well, using Pinterest for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Similarly, visit your profile, tap the Boards tab, and scroll to the bottom to find the "Create a Secret Board" button.

Each pinner is allowed up to three secret boards; an invitation to contribute to someone else's secret board will not count against a user's three-board limit. The hidden contents, though, can be made public at any time by the user.

This addition has also sparked a revamping of Pinterest's Privacy Policy, which now includes notes on secret boards, as well as simplified language and more examples. Users will receive an email notification about the privacy policy update.

Many of the comments following Milam's blog post were left by panicked pinners wondering where the function is on their web browser or mobile phone. Pinterest's Annie Katrina Lee ensured users that the secret boards are rolling out gradually, and should be widely available soon.