Pinterest has banned the use of affiliate links and other trackers in pins, severely impacting a major source of revenue for Pinterest power users, according to an e-mail obtained by VentureBeat.
On the heels of Twitter’s acquisition of social influencer talent agency Niche, it can be construed as another way social networks are cracking down on users earning revenues that do not flow back to the platform on which they operate.
Pinterest, for its part, told VentureBeat:
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.
Power pinners, as they’re called, are not happy with the change, as it was a large source of revenue for their influence. These users either grab self-service affiliate code from marketplaces like Amazon or strike unique deals with companies. The affiliate link is the way to track actual sales. It’s unknown how brands will compensate as Pinterest is thought to drive significant traffic and attendant sales and those Pinterest users with significant audiences can be the main driver of that traffic.