Pinterest Lifts Affiliate Link Ban, Rolls Out Network

Pinterest plans to roll out an affiliate network after banning affiliate marketing on its service more than a year ago to prevent spammers from abusing those links.

The San Francisco-based social site, known for helping marketers use search to help promote their goods, acknowledges it has found a way to improve spam detection, rather than completely eliminate the network.

"We removed affiliate links from Pinterest because spammers were abusing them," Adelin Cai, leading policy at Pinterest, wrote in a post.

Last year, Pinterest banned affiliate marketing from redirects to trackers on Pins, which removed a chunk of the sale when consumers bought the product. The revenue dissolved, and, along with it, use by marketers.

The new affiliate program should bring back an increase in participation on the network and will provide additional revenue to members who previously found a solid return on their investment.



Revenue sharing became a way for Pinterest to monetize the network and bring in new members until it became overloaded with spam.

Some reports suggest that bringing back the affiliate network will benefit users outside of the U.S. and boost local markets. The site offers a lot of handmade items.

The move to bring back revenue sharing through an affiliate network creates one of several signals that Pinterest remains serious in growing the company worldwide.

On Wednesday, Pinterest named Michelle Wilson a director on the board. The former Amazon executive, the first female and independent director, joined Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann, Jeff Jordan of Andreessen Horowitz and Jeremy Levine of Bessemer Venture Partners. Rick Heitzmann of FirstMark Capital has sat in as a board observer.


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