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When should I use public vs private boards?
When should I use public vs private boards?

Which privacy settings make sense for your Canny feedback boards

Jacques Reulet avatar
Written by Jacques Reulet
Updated over a week ago

Your answer to this depends on what you want to do. First, let's examine the use cases, then we'll go into detail! 🤓

Public Boards are typically used for things like:

  • Gathering feedback from your user-base

  • Interacting with users to clarify use cases and solicit more feedback

  • Keeping everyone updated on upcoming features

Private Boards are typically used for things like:

  • Limiting feedback so it only comes from accountholders of your product

  • Gathering feedback from internal employees/teams within your company

  • Allowing specific stakeholders to weigh in on projects (and keeping them up-to-date on progress)

  • Enabling individualized feedback from a small number of VIP users

Public Boards

All boards are public by default. Public boards are visible to anyone on the internet and they will appear in search results on engines like Google. You have the option of turning off search engine indexing and hiding your board from the homepage which makes it difficult to find without the URL.

Notably, Canny does not allow anonymous feedback. A person must be identified in some way before they can create posts, vote, or comment. This can be done automatically via Canny Identify or users can create a free Canny account before giving feedback.

When a user goes to create a post, they are also searching as they type. This way, they will be able to see if the post they are creating already exists; we try to prevent duplicates wherever we can. You or another Canny admin can easily merge posts if one slips through, however. 

Private Boards

With a private board, you can restrict access to specific people. Canny allows you to select from a few options: 

  1. Users/Customers
    Enabling this toggle means that only people who are signed in and identified as a user/customer of your product via our client‑side SDK or single sign‑on can access the board to leave feedback. An unidentified person who tries to access the board will be prompted to log in. They will not be able to access the board until they are identified.

    You can set up SSO redirect to send users back to your website to log in. They will be redirected to Canny afterwards.

  2. Teammates
    Restrict access to a board to people with a corporate email address. For example, if Amira from Appy wants access to the board, she would need to verify her work email: "". Teammates can be verified via Google G-Suite, Microsoft Azure AD, or through email verification.

  3. Specific people
    This is the most controlled option. This allows you to invite specific individuals rather than all individuals who meet specific criteria. Just enter the email addresses of the people you want to whitelist for access to this board. They will need to accept the email invite to gain access to the board. This option is great for boards dedicated to specific clients and beta testing.

Remember, you can create multiple boards in Canny; each one with its own privacy settings. Just bear in mind that any fellow Canny admins will have access to view all boards and feedback from their admin profile. 

If you have any questions or just need some clarification, don't hesitate to reach out. We're always happy to answer any questions! 🥳

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