Pinterest is killing affiliate links on its service, keeping existing pins in tact, but stripping the tracking from the URLs. Naturally, this is not sitting well with people getting income from them.
As reported earlier by VentureBeat, affected Pinterest users have been getting an email from the company, which warns that it will automatically remove affiliate links, redirects, and trackers, and gives them other suggestions for getting paid like: "participate in paid social media marketing involving Pinterest, be paid to curate a board or be paid to create original content for a business.”
Ana Hoffman shares the email on Google+ (via Business Insider):
Pinterest insists the move is "not about monetization" and is "100% about the Pinner experience and ensuring relevant content on Pinterest."
They gave us the same statement they've been giving to other outlets: "We are removing affiliate links to ensure we’re providing the best possible experience for Pinners. Recently, we observed affiliate links and redirects causing irrelevant Pins in feeds, broken links and other spammy behavior. We believe this change will enable us to keep the high bar of relevancy and quality Pinners expect from Pinterest."
So how are people reacting? Here's a sample of the Twitter conversation:
No more affiliate links on #Pinterest?! That makes me so sad
— Lauren Nolan (@lakeshore_lady) February 13, 2015
Sooooo pinterest doesn't allow affiliate links anymore. Ciao. Bye. I'm done.
— Ria Michelle (@riamichelle) February 13, 2015
— WhatsHaute (@WhatsHaute) February 12, 2015
— Sarah Tolzmann (@notetosarah) February 13, 2015
Pinterest bans affiliate links. Just like that, a million blogger voices cried out, and were suddenly silenced.
— Jay Miranda (@jaymiranda_) February 13, 2015
— Ashley Torres (@PursuitofShoes) February 12, 2015
Did you hear? All affiliate links will be removed starting today on Pinterest. Woah. #Pinterest
— MADE BY GIRL (@JenRamos) February 12, 2015
— PencilShavingsStudio (@pencilshavings) February 12, 2015
@JenRamos completely crazy.
— NYC Recessionista (@NYRecessionista) February 12, 2015
Hey @RashonCarraway I think the main reason I was using it was affiliate but I still get traffic to my shop. So, yes.
— MADE BY GIRL (@JenRamos) February 13, 2015
No more affiliate links on Pinterest, there goes all my apres ski money #bloggerproblems
— Channing (@BlueMountainBel) February 12, 2015
This week, Pinterest announced new App Pins for iOS, which enable users to install apps on their iPhones or iPads directly from Pinterest. Rumors also emerged that the company is readying a "Buy" button, which may pop up on pins in the coming months.
A spokesperson for Pinterest told WebProNews, "Part of our strategy to help people discover new things, save them, and do these things in real life has always been to make Pins more useful. App Pins is our latest effort and we have many more ideas but we don’t have any additional plans to announce at this time.”
Those using affiliate networks in conjunction with Pinterest are going to have to either follow Pinterest's advice on other monetization suggestions, or look elsewhere for affiliate link traffic.