As reported last week, Pinterest has put a stop to affiliate links on the service. This has understandably upset some bloggers who have been making money through such links.
The company sent an email around to those using affiliate links, saying they would start automatically removing affiliate links, redirects, and trackers on Pins.
"We've been automatically removing most of these links for a few years, but until now, we made exceptions for rewardStyle and Hello Society's affiliate network," it said. "If you've participated in either of these affiliate networks, all your past Pins will show up normally and still be clickable. They just won't include the affiliate tracker when people click on them. Nothing else about your account or Pins will change and nothing will be deleted."
"We're making this change for a few reasons," the email continued. "Removing redirects and affiliates will keep Pinterest running quickly, smoothly, and prevent Rich Pins from breaking. Unfortunately, these affiliate programs have also caused irrelevant Pins in feeds, broken links and other spammy behavior. We know a lot of Pinners have worked hard to create a great personal brand and we believe you should still be able to make money off of what you've built."
Ways to do this, according to Pinterest, include participating in paid social media marketing, being paid to curate a board or to create original content for a business.
Seeing a golden opportunity, the service Keep quickly stepped up encouraging bloggers to come and use affiliate links there. In a blog post on Friday, Keep said:
Attention bloggers and style stars! We know you might be feeling a bit blue since Pinterest made affiliate links...like...die. We take a different approach. You can use your affiliate links on Keep! We have just launched an invitation-only program for bloggers who know good style when they see (and blog) it.
There's a form here where users can apply to take part. It asks for blog name, blog link, blog unique monthly audience, and Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook profiles.
According to Business Insider, Keep is directly contacting top Pinterest users to directly invite them to the program.
While Pinterest is ramping up its own monetization efforts, the company insists that killing affiliate links isn't related to that.
“We are removing affiliate links to ensure we’re providing the best possible experience for Pinners," a spokesperson told us. "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.”
Last week, news came out that Pinterest is readying a "buy" button, though Pinterest hasn't actually confirmed this.
Image via Pinterest