Here's The Secret, Clever Way Pinterest Is Making Money

Photo: Justin Hackworth via Alt Design Summit 2012 on Flickr

Pinterest is growing like crazy — but how does it actually plan to make money?Josh Davis over at LLSocial has a theory: Pinterest swaps out links on pins on Pinterest with “affiliate links,” which will return some kind of commission if the person visiting the site buys the product.

Check out how the whole process works →
Pretty clever, but Pinterest isn’t telling its users about the link-swapping, Davis says. It does it behind the scenes.

We tried doing it on our own by pinning a book from Amazon and found that the links didn’t change — so it might do it randomly or after some time on the site. Or not at all.

Either way, it’s an interesting theory.

It starts with the pin. Find something interesting — pay attention to the link.

That book looks awesome. Pin that noise!

It's up! Let's check out the link...

We couldn't get it to work, but Davis says Pinterest changes the referral link.

If the product has an affiliate program, Pinterest will get a commission on the sale.

That's how Pinterest makes money. How does it get so many users?

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