March 29, 2012, 11:01 AM —
Automate accounts and "pinning" to make your Amazon affiliate links look popular, then bank the bucks.
So says "Steve," in an interview with Daily Dot, where he says "Pinterest is by FAR the easiest social network to spam right now. Quite possible the easiest ever to spam." He recounts how, since February 20 this year, he started manually pinning product pictures through multiple accounts tied to Amazon affiliate numbers he controlled. As people bought products he "recommended" he received the affiliate commission. From $20 the first day, he worked harder and made around $2,000 the first week. Now he averages about $1,000 per day.
No money? No problem with fake Pinterest accounts. Helping the scam get started, Pinterest discontinued a script called Skimlinks on February 15 that replaced user's affiliate links with one from Pinterest. Users cried foul because Pinterest made the affiliate commissions. Once Skimlinks stopped, Steve started his Pinterest spamming career. He admits it could be derailed any time, but says his conscience is clear: "I have no guilt. I'm not trying to scam anyone, or upload viruses to their computer or anything like that. I simply show products to the Pinterest community."
Decline of civilization
This is why we can't have nice things...
Malcolm Campbell on dailydot.com
My new career
I would doubt he is the biggest spammer on Pinterest. I did some good "spamming" (to be correct, marketing) myself before they changed their algo's. I found that the demographics were VERY targeted and if you know how to use that tight demographic you can make alot of money. I made my own bots, but only used <50 accounts.
Daniel Ardley on dailydot.com
Will Skimlinks (or someone similar) offer a reverse-affiliate service that strips affiliate IDs from links on your site instead of adding them? Does this already exist?
joshuahedlund on news.ycombinator.com
While "scamming" sounds illegal, there may be nothing illegal about Steve's activities, outside of possible violations of Pinterest's license agreement about fake accounts, and with Amazon for posting affiliate links by software bot. And the problems with copyright violations that every Pinterest user faces for using images they don't own.