By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0) This week, social photo sharing site Pinterest makes headlines with record-breaking pageviews in a very short amount of time. This means that Pinterest is more popular today than, say, Etsy.
On the revenue side of startupland, Skimlinks is the real story behind Pinterest's success. The site has been modifying user-submitted pins on Pinterest, quieting generating revenue as a early-stage startup. Kudos to them!
Cue righteous indignation from a handful of bloggers and community managers at startups around the world for the lack of transparency in Pinterest's monetization strategy. Alicia Navarro, co-founder and CEO of Skimlinks, refuted claims from a handful of bloggers that expressed outrage at early-stage startup monetization strategies. She blogs "it's not a secret":
"By providing a platform where people can post things they like, Pinterest isn’t endorsing particular products for the sake of financial gain, just providing a valuable forum for products to be browsed by their community. So it is understandable that they didn’t want to make a big deal of this, especially as so many other content sites also use Skimlinks and affiliate marketing technology to help fund their operations."
As Mike Butcher from TechCrunch Europe writes:
"The other slight hilarity is that – shock horror – Pinterest is actually making money on its Beta because of its relationship with Skimlinks – that is news on its own.
That Skimlinks could well be a monetization engine behind new social platforms is, for my money, the real news."
Well said, Mike. Thanks to Skimlinks for inspiring us with this week's display of disruptive technology.
For more product innovation leadership, check out Women 2.0 PITCH Conference on February 14, 2012 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Get your ticket now! About the guest blogger: Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006 with Shaherose Charania. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management, web UI design, and entrepreneurship. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the "+1" for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.