“Power pinner” Pinteresters received an email last week advising them that affiliate links, redirect links and tracking links would be removed from the service.
Most affiliate networks were not able to be used on Pinterest, because their system would remove those sort of links, especially if the links redirected the viewer too much. However, sites like rewardStyle and Shopstyle were exempt.
Viewers on Pinterest shouldn’t see too much of a difference as the links would be stripped of the tracking information, so they should just see the actual item – e.g. if someone had posted an rStyle link to an ASOS handbag to their Pinterest board, the viewer would now click the link and go directly to the ASOS site, instead of going via the rStyle website.
Many bloggers have voiced their annoyance on this – some bloggers were making a decent amount of money from Pinterest affiliate links, so this is forcing a rethink into their strategies. Pinterest suggest looking at other ways to monetise your audience, like being paid to create and maintain a Pinterest board, or using Pinterest as a social media element of a bigger advertising campaign.
Pinterests reason for a blanket ban on affiliate links is that it improves the quality of links on Pinterest, but many people are looking at the recent announcements from them as reasons why they were removed. Pinterest is working on things like Promoted Pins and a “buy” button which could have conflicted with affiliate links. It’s also possible that this decision was made because affiliate links were rarely disclosed as being affiliate links on Pinterest.
What do you think – was this a good decision by Pinterest? Will you be using Pinterest less, or will this encourage you to look at the other ways of monetising your Pinterest activity?