Pinterest is no longer banning affiliate links on its service, after decreeing more than a year ago that it did so to prevent spammers from abusing those links. The company today updated its policy to reflect this change, saying that it has improved its spam detection to better remove any bad content and that it will be “rolling out all affiliate networks today and over the coming weeks.”
In February 2015, Pinterest warned “power pinners” that it was “automatically removing all affiliate links, redirects, and trackers on pins.” At the time, the company said that it “observed affiliate links and redirects causing irrelevant pins in feeds, broken links, and other spammy behavior. We believe [the ban] will enable us to keep the high bar of relevancy and quality pinners expect from Pinterest.”
If you posted such a link, Pinterest said that its systems would block it and thereby prevent the landing page from loading. Now you can resume posting affiliate links without any changes.
Adelin Cai, the company’s head of policy, told VentureBeat that Pinterest wants to enable good use cases of affiliate links. “We know there are good influencers out there,” she said emphasizing that the service was “not anti-affiliate.” The process to create these links hasn’t changed, she said, “as long as you don’t share spam or engage in spam behavior.” Cai explained that Pinterest has been spending the past year working on improving automation and human review of links to eliminate the spammy affiliate experience.
The company thinks this support will particularly benefit users outside of the U.S. Cai said that the re-enabling of affiliate links will help grow local markets, allowing users in the region to create content that’s relevant to the people there. “We want to get local influencers to stretch their content out on the platform,” Cai remarked.
And as Pinterest continues to grow its international audience, which is where most of its users are already coming from, affiliate links could play a big role.