Pinterest Will Bring Back Affiliate Links; Former WPP Exec Wants To Reinvent The Holding Co. Model

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Spring Cleaning

Pinterest will bring back affiliate links to give influencers and publishers an easy way to monetize the platform, Business Insider reports. Pinterest banned affiliate links last year after users complained of spammy and broken links undermining the experience. But a new spam-filtering technology promises more integrity. "Because we weren't allowing affiliates, we weren't giving users the right sort of incentive to continue creating really beautiful content," said Adelin Cai, a member of Pinterest's policy team. More.

Poking The Bear

It’s no secret that the holding company model has its issues. Former WPP executive Mark Penn is out to reinvent it, The Wall Street Journal reports. Penn’s private equity fund, Stagwell Group, is looking to acquire digitally savvy, flexible agencies that complement rather than compete with each other. Stagwell has $250 million in funding, predicts up to $150 million in revenue this year and has already acquired three agencies. Penn joins a handful of vets looking to modernize the holding company model, such as former Havas CEO David Jones. “We are not setting out to replace or compete with holding companies. Eighty percent to 90% of what they do, we don’t want to do,” he said. More.

Rules Of Engagement

Facebook Instant Articles has changed the publishing equation, and publishers are having to rethink what metrics even matter, reports Garett Sloane at Digiday. For PopSugar, for instance, mobile traffic is up 36% since it joined Instant Articles in April, but that’s only because comScore counts those Facebook readers as PopSugar site viewers. But Facebook readers don’t engage with the story or the brand the way a typical visitor does. “With Instant Articles, by their very nature, the format doesn’t see the same level of engagement,” said Chris George, PopSugar’s SVP of product marketing. More.

Apple Hearts Developers

Apple folded iAd earlier this year, and many of those employees shifted to the App Store Search team to squeeze more revenue from mobile services (and catch up with Android’s app developer capabilities). Bloomberg reports those changes are bearing fruit. Approval times for new submissions and product changes have been cut to two days, from eight days a year ago. “Apple is a little bit of a different company than it was a few years ago when it first built the App Store,” said app developer Chris Maddern. “It’s becoming a lot more developer-friendly. It’s becoming a lot more open in its approach to building an ecosystem.” More.

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