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Pinterest’s First Five Pins of the Day – Explained

Photograph of laptop with post title overlaid. Confused by Pinterest's recommendation to "prioritize" the first five pins you make each day? When does the Pinterest "day" start? Why does Pinterest recommend doing that? Does it have to do with their algorithm? All those questions are answered in here!

Pinterest recently changed their best pinning practices guidelines to say that we need to prioritize the first five pins of the day. What does this mean? When does the “day” start on Pinterest? It’s pretty simple – but lots of people are confused by the vague instructions. Pinterest’s “first five” pins are the first five pins after midnight UTC made to your account.

Here’s what Pinterest’s Best Practices for Pinterest Success page says:

“The first 5 Pins you save each day will be prioritized for distribution. Save to the most relevant board first. It’s okay to save a Pin to multiple boards, but save to the most relevant one first—that Pin will get distribution priority. Saving to irrelevant boards won’t help and may hurt the distribution of your Pins.”

Update 06/01/2018 – Pinterest recently redid their guide to simply things, and removed the “First 5 Pins” recommendation – along with a lot of other recommendations. HOWEVER, it was confirmed to Buffer via Pinterest’s developers that the first five pins are still a factor. 

THIS IS POST NO LONGER RELEVANT! Pinterest has now done away with the “First Five” and this post will eventually forward to a new one on times to pin. I’m still finding that the pins going out around Midnight UTC do the best for my clients, so I’m still prioritizing in this same manner.

Why the First 5 Pins?

The reason Pinterest says to prioritize these first five pins is that the algorithm will be sure to prioritize showing these five pins in the smart feed over the other pins you make that day. That doesn’t mean they won’t show your other pins, it just means that those will be shown first – then as they keep scrolling, your followers will see more.

Think of it as if you have five good chances to get someone’s attention on Pinterest, what would you want them to definitely see?

When Does the “Day” Start?

Pinterest has confirmed that their “day” starts at Midnight UTC. People are getting very confused with converting midnight UTC to their own timezone – especially because UTC isn’t impacted by daylight savings time. Many people are using the terms “EST” or “PST” when googling to convert the timezones, but we’re currently in daylight savings time – or “EDT” and “PDT” – except for Arizona & Hawaii of course 

Midnight UTC converts to:

  • 7pm EST/8pm EDT
  • 6pm CST/7pm CDT
  • 5pm MST/6pm MDT
  • 4pm PST/5pm PDT
  • 2pm HST

You’ll notice that these are the same times that many have always said are the “best” times to pin on Pinterest. Chances are you were already sending out your newest or best pins at those times and don’t need to change a thing!

How to Embrace the First Five Pins

So what do you need to do? Just make sure the pins that go out after midnight UTC are the pins you definitely want eyeballs on, on the most relevant personal board. I cushion those pins a little bit – especially when scheduling via Tailwind – because sometimes scheduled pins get a bit laggy with publishing. I’ll make sure that the pin before and after those chosen five are also pins I want to prioritize, just in case there’s a delay.

What about live pinning, and pinning other peoples’ content? You’ll definitely want those five pins to be your content to your personal boards (not group boards). If you find yourself live pinning during that time block – play it safe by adding those pins to a secret board, and move them later. Therefore, your scheduled prioritized pins can go out as planned, and you won’t have to worry.

Pinterest’s “first five” pins aren’t as complicated as they first sound. Once you figure out the right time to pin, and have your personal boards optimized for SEO, you’re good to go! Because the first five pins recommendation is an easy and simple one, it’s a great starting point for those brand new to Pinterest strategy.

Need More Help with Your Pinterest Strategy?

I recommend one course – Pinning Perfect* (affiliate link)! It’s the best value for your dollar, regularly updated with all the latest information. Recently, I’ve seen lots of bloggers complaining about all the “new” Pinterest changes. Pinterest actually hasn’t made any significant changes, the strategies they recently shared at conferences and in webinars were all the same strategies Pinning Perfect has covered for years. In my opinion, every single blogger or business person who wants to strategically use Pinterest for their marketing needs to use Pinning Perfect.

Don’t want to do it yourself? Contact me to see if I have any openings for my Pinterest Management services.

*I am an affiliate for the Pinning Perfect course, which means I will make a small portion of any sale made using my link. I only recommend courses and tools that I use myself, and that I feel are the best value and quality money can buy.

More resources:

Best Practices for Success on Pinterest:…/best-practices-for-pintere…
Tailwind & Pinterest Facebook Live Webinar:


  1. Thank you so much for this! Great explanation. I do have a question though. I use tailwind to schedule my pins, can I leave the scheduler time to +00:00 UTC?



  2. Starting to feel like Pinterest is going all GDPR frenzy on us! What do you think about Simple Pin Media’s interpretation that pins [fresh ones] should be pinned from your own website and from Pinterest?

    • I totally agree with Kate on that! It isn’t an interpretation, but actually something that came directly from several of Pinterest’s reps. The thought used to be that repins were better because they increased the engagement score on old pins, but Pinterest has changed the algorithm so that isn’t a factor anymore.

      I also recommend pinning directly from your own site because you’d be surprised how many bloggers are ignorant to things like their social share buttons breaking! If you don’t use your site like an average user, then you won’t know when things break or aren’t user-friendly.

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