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Pinterest Bans Affiliate Links

Pinterest announced some bad news for Bloggers and active power pinners who drive leads and earn revenue via affiliate marketing. Pinterest is set to ban affiliate networks on their site. Currently, affiliates are able to monetize pins by using a trackable link. These affiliates earn commissions from pins that produce conversions and/or drive traffic to their retail partners’ sites.

Why is this happening now? Pinterest does not earn any revenue from these affiliate links even though it has become a platform to facilitate them. The social network has not confirmed this, but the writing has been on the wall that Pinterest wants to leverage their network of pinners for their own monetization plans. First there was their “promoted pins”, and then partnership announcements with Apple and Stripe.

This really should not come as too much of a shock to the affiliate networks. Pinterest has banned affiliates before. Back in 2012, Pinterest cracked down on Amazon affiliate programs by removing the tracking tag from links directed to Amazon’s site. At the time, there were hundreds of other affiliates, but Pinterest selectively picked their battles instead of taking on the futile task of going after every affiliate network. Now, Pinterest will still be picking battles by going after larger networks, but the announcement has made it official, stating that they will “automatically remove all affiliate links, redirects and trackers on Pins.”

So Pinterest power users partnered with affiliate networks, you have been warned. Although as per Pinterest, the ban will not be a drastic rollout. Pinterest stated, “…all your past Pins will show up normally and still be clickable.” Sounds like a kind and gentle transition to being cut off, but forget about being able to track those pins. Pinterest also stated that affiliates are still welcome to get paid by curating boards or by working on paid social media marketing for their network partners.

Let us know how you feel about this latest Pinterest development.

Contact Position2 to discuss how to kick off a social media B2B strategy.

Team Position2

February 17, 2015

By Team Position2