Pinterest, a major source of revenue for personal style bloggers, is turning off that money-making spigot.
The social network is removing all affiliate links, the trackable links that enable the people who share them to earn commissions on traffic to or sales from retailers. Many fashion bloggers, who number in the thousands, have sizable followings on Pinterest and derive a consistent revenue stream from affiliate links.
Personal style bloggers, an often self-employed, fashion-forward crowd, regularly post pictures of items they own or were given, along with products they like or have their eye on. They share these photos on their blogs, as well as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, with links to retailers where the items are sold. Bloggers get paid when a shopper clicks on those links and purchases within the following month, whether it is the linked item or other items the retailer sells. Pinterest said it has been automatically removing affiliate links for years but had allowed some exceptions that were "maintaining good quality." RewardStyle, an affiliate network that caters to the fashion industry and works with 9,000 bloggers, websites and other publishers, was among those that had been allowed to link, until yesterday. "We have noticed their Pinner behaviour going downhill," the spokesman said. "This has caused slower delivery of Pins and less relevant Pins in people's home feeds."