Douglas SheardBy Doug Sheard

Pinterest is generating a massive media buzz as it breaks into the UK social market. Early reviews are that it’s fun and easy to use and, with marketers working on ways to optimise it for their brands, I’ve even heard the term Pinfluence bandied around recently!

So why is the Head of Affiliates talking about this newbie to the social scene? The interesting (and yes, I’m leaving the “Pinteresting” behind here…) aspect is how an affiliate helped to monetise the site as it grew in the U.S. The affiliate in question is Skimlinks, who worked with Pinterest until recently.

So, who are Skimlinks? They have been around since 2008 in the UK, and 2010 in the U.S. market, and their core product offering is to make it easy for sites to monetise their content – without having to sign-up to multiple affiliate networks or learn/use affiliate linking.

Skimlinks works by turning the normal client link that bloggers use on their sites into an affiliate link when a consumer clicks-through. The publisher would have been discussing the merchant anyway, and Skimlinks provides them with the means to earn on a CPA (cost per acquisition) basis for the referral. The affiliate also introduced another product, Skimwords, more recently to the market, turning product mentions into affiliate links.

As a way to help inexperienced content sites in the affiliate industry, this can provide a useful solution. It’s also beneficial to sites looking to monetise mass content automatically, without having to integrate affiliate links, and that’s why Pinterest and Skimlinks were such a good match.

Affiliates have been working to monetise links effectively within the social space for a number of years now and Pinterest/Skimlinks appear to have achieved this, to a certain degree, with their integrated approach. While questions remain over member content being monetised, and full transparency, this is nevertheless an intriguing approach to integrating Affiliates and Social.

However, the pair are no longer working together, and although the reason behind the split hasn’t been confirmed, there has been speculation over how transparent the site was on their activity. With privacy a growing issue, consumers are asking more questions over how Social sites make money. Concerns raised may well have contributed to the relationship between Pinterest and Skimlinks ending recently.

For further info on how Pinterest and Skimlinks worked together, please see the video below with Alicia Navarro, CEO of Skimlinks.

Sourced from WebProNews