Pinterest Kills Affiliate Links, Upsets Users

Chris CrumSocial Media

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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:

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.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.