Pinterest quietly profits off its users’ links – Feb. 10, 2012

NEW YORK CNNMoney — The social networking field’s buzziest startup is under fire this week for not being completely transparent with its users.

Pinterest, which allows users to create a virtual pinboard showcasing items they find around the Web, has quietly been appending affiliate links to some pins — the ones featuring goods for sale online through Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY),  Target and thousands of other merchants. Those links generate payments for Pinterest from the retailers if someone clicks through and buys a product featured in the pin.

The practice has been going on for months, but drew little notice until a blog post this week on highlighted and explained the modified links.

“It’s big news in the tech community because Pinterest is the social network that everyone wants to take to the prom this year,” says Amy Webb, CEO of strategy firm Webmedia Group. “As a result, everyone’s paying close attention.”

Pinterest was founded in early 2010, but its traffic soared over the past six months as its popularity snowballed. commentator Pete Cashmore recently called it “the breakout social network of 2012.”

Pinterest’s pins let users create online catalogues spotlighting their passions, such as travel, fashion and design. But many users weren’t aware that that the company had been monetizing their content.

via Pinterest quietly profits off its users’ links – Feb. 10, 2012.

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Posted on February 11, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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