Pinterest made changes this week to how they keep track of followers. While it might have resulted in a decrease in follower numbers for your account and boards, it should lead to an improved Pinterest.
You can watch my discussion of the change in this video with Lauren Orsini or read the details below.
Pinterest team member Enid Hwang wrote about the change in the Pinterest support section. She stated:
If you’re seeing an unusual change in your followers number, this is because we’re switching to a new system for tabulating Pinterest counters this week which is correcting for our past inaccuracies:
If you saw a decrease in your followers, we know this is probably really disappointing news. We want to make sure you know the change in your followers isn’t a reflection of your Pinterest activity or “pinning quality” in any way, and it’s strictly a fix for a long-term problem we’ve been eager to solve.
Pinterest was previously miscounting followers due to “system slowness”, not properly removing followers who chose to unfollow certain boards, and yes, spammers being in their system.
Long time Pinterest users had all but given up checking who was following them on the website because the accounts listed where often random or at least not recent. The only reliable way to track new followers was to get email alerts. That should be changing.
The new back-end system will allow for Pinterest to soon show followers/following in reverse chronological order (i.e. those who recently followed you will be at the top of the list).
Plus, this change in the system will allow for a future blocking feature that will allow you to block people at the board level. This sounds very similar to the idea of private boards.