A lot has been written about Pinterest, the social photo sharing website, in the last few weeks.  Fastest company ever to get to 10 million monthly uniques.  Very impressive.  What's even more impressive is how they're monetizing these users at a very early stage with a somewhat brilliant idea.  Here's how it works:

  • I post a link to a pair of sneakers that I like from say, Sports Authority, to my Pinterest page
  • You see the image and click on the link
  • Pinterest runs an instant query to determine whether or not Sports Authority has an affiliate program
  • If they have one, the link is automatically converted to Sports Authority's affiliate link and you're sent to Sports Authority's site
  • You make a purchase from Sports Authority
  • Pinterest takes their commission

A very innovative (and frankly gutsy) idea.  Twitter and Facebook are probably kicking themselves for not thinking of it years ago.