Pinterest just brought back a big way for its users to make money
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Last year, the company banned affiliate links, which gave Pinners a cut of the sale when other users bought one of the products that they had posted. At the time, Pinterest said that it outlawed that practice because affiliate links and redirects had caused "irrelevant Pins in feeds, broken links and other spammy behavior."
But some loyal users felt upset since they'd lost an income stream - although Pinners could still get paid to curate boards or do other brand sponsorships, those opportunities weren't as accessible.
Almost exactly a year later, though, Pinterest says it decided to bringing affiliate capabilities back as a way to reward its users and because it has strengthened its spam technology enough to weed out bad behavior.
Pinterest, like most social sites including Facebook and Twitter, depends on its users to create all the content that it can sell ads between, so it needs people willing to put a lot of time into its platform. Although a spokesperson assures us that it wasn't seeing a decline in posting after banning affiliate links, the company admits that it wasn't doing enough to support the people it depended on.
"Because we weren't allowing affiliates, we weren't giving users the right sort of incentive to continue creating really beautiful content,"Adelin Cai, from Pinterest's policy team, tells Business Insider. "We believe that if we remove the ban, we're incentivizing those influencers to generate much more beautiful content."
Cai says that this is especially important in international markets, where it needs to convince people to Pin content local to their area. If people can't find localized boards relevant to them, they won't want to use the site.
With a sky-high $11 billion valuation, Pinterest is laser focused on growing its business internationally and bringing back affiliate links will likely help it build a strong community of active users, which ties directly into how much revenue it can make.
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