Pinterest power users are being warned via email that links containing affiliate info, redirects, or pin trackers will be automatically removed.
These types of links are already being removed as of today, and Pinterest is apparently keenly focused on popular affiliate networks RewardStyle and Hello Society.
Pinterest is no stranger to banning affiliate links on a case by case basis, but this is the first time the company has ever issued a site wide ban.
It’s not going unnoticed that this move comes at an interesting time. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, news broke yesterday that Pinterest is working on a ‘Buy’ button.
When you take that into account you start to get an idea as to why Pinterest is banning affiliate links — it likely doesn’t want people sending others off the site to make a purchase. When the Buy button is launched, Pinterest is going to want to keep all sales contained to its network, or at least as many sales as realistically possible.
As Pinterest works to monetize its network it has effectively quelled an audience which could have stood in its way: Pinterest power users/affiliate marketers.
If you engaged in this form of link sharing in the past, all your old Pins will not be deleted but they will be stripped of any kind of affiliate or tracking info. Going forward Pinterest recommends that marketers use approved practices, such as paid social media (Promoted Pins).
A Pinterest spokesperson offered the following statement:
“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.”
The spokesperson added that this change is 100% about the user experience, and not at all about the company’s monetization plans.
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