Pinterest: We Did Not Intend to be Deceptive

Pinterest is generating conversation over more than just its pins. The company’s profit model has become a hot topic and has many publications debating if and how Pinterest is generating revenue. LL Social ran a story on February 7 revealing the fact that Pinterest had been using SkimLinks to track and profit from purchases made through affiliate links, but now Pinterest is saying that’s not the case.

Josh Davis of LL Social updated his Pinterest story last week to add information that resulted from a phone call from Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann. Silbermann said that the company’s use of SkimLinks was simply a test and not a business model. He also said that the company had discontinued use of SkimLinks the week prior to Davis’ story revealing the revenue generating tactic. The CEO says it was never the company’s intention to be deceptive and has since added a section to its website entitled “How does Pinterest make moeny?” which states:

“Right now, we are focused on growing Pinterest and making it more valuable. To fund these efforts, we have taken outside investment from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. We’ve tested a few different approaches to making money such as affiliate links. We might also try adding advertisements, but we haven’t done this yet. Even though making money isn’t our top priority right now, it is a long term goal. After all, we want Pinterest to be here to stay!”

Silbermann told Davis, “Our focus right now is not on monetizing, but we have tried a few things out to better understand how people use the service. We want to be a profitable company, but we want to make sure whatever model we eventually use, works with customers. We haven’t decided on one way to do it.”