San Francisco-based virtual bookmarking site Pinterest has banned affiliate links from its platform.
Pinterest, which has recently been clamping down on spammy content, has now announced an all-out ban on any links which enable the author to gain commission via referrals.
Some of the Pinterest-focused networks to be affected include HelloSociety, which boasts clients such as Kate Spade and stationery brand Staples, and rewardStyle, which counts Jimmy Choo, Net-a-Porter and Sephora among its users.
The move has left a number of Pinterest publishers unhappy, with the online scrapbooking service potentially cutting off a main source of income for many style and lifestyle bloggers and ‘super pinners’.
Users had been monetising Pinterest’s service by ’pinning’ images of products with affiliate tags and website links where the items were available to purchase. As a result, the pinner would receive commission from each sale.
No other changes
In an email to its users, Pinterest said: "If you've participated in either of these affiliate networks [referring to HelloSociety and rewardStyle] all your past pins will show up normally and still be clickable."
The sharing site attributed fewer relevant pins on users’ feeds, preventing ‘rich pins’ from breaking and avoiding a slow delivery of pins as reasons for stripping affiliate links from its platform.
Pinterest insists that nothing else on its user accounts or pins will change and nothing will be deleted.
Meanwhile, rumours are circulating that Pinterest may be looking to introduce a ‘Buy’ button to the platform later this year.
Pinterest also made the decision to embark on an ads-funded future in 2013. The company hoped to secure its long-term safety by giving businesses the option of ‘Promoted Pins’, currently only in use in the US.
A wide range of US brands have experimented with Promoted Pins, with the majority being fashion, food or travel businesses such as Banana Republic, Lululemon, Nestle and Walt Disney Resorts.