Virtual bookmarking site Pinterest is lifting its year-long ban on affiliate activity on the platform, once again providing publishers and influencers with an easy way to monetise their content.
The formation of its affiliate network is hoped to reignite the activity lost by the site’s bloggers who could no longer take a cut of merchants’ sales driven via tracking-enabled Pins appearing in user searches.
Pinterest now claims it’s developed a way to ramp up spam detection, cracking down on the irrelevant redirects and broken links spurring complaints over “spammy content” as well as a less than polished user experience.
The company's decision last February was to “automatically remove all affiliate links, redirects and trackers on Pins,” enabling it to keep a “high bar of relevancy and quality,” stating that this was “100%” in the interest of user experience, and not a derivative of the social network’s own monetisation plans.
Path to maturity
The ban, however, came just months after Pinterest launched its Promoted Pins service, encouraging 'power users' to take this up alongside the site’s other approved methods of monetisation, including paid content curation for businesses.
In June 2015 the site also introduced a ‘buy' button after five years in development, transforming it from a hub for aspirational lifestyle goods to a storefront for hard conversions.
The move to reintroduce the affiliate activity shouldn’t be interpreted solely as an effort to re-engage disgruntled bloggers. On the contrary, it suggests the social network is ready to capitalise on accelerating growth, offering its growing bank of retailers additional sources of revenue as the platform comes into maturity.
Pinterest clocked its user base at 100 million at the final quarter of 2015, doubling figures for the 18 months preceding.
Its valuation of $11 billion has also caused speculation around an upcoming IPO.