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Reddit will soon start rewriting certain links to make money

Reddit wanted the feature to be rolled out sooner, but it was pushed back after calls for a broader announcement

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 May, 2016, 8:37pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 May, 2016, 11:15am

Reddit is launching a new way to make money.

Starting on June 3, the site is going to use a popular strategy called affiliate linking to get a small cut of purchases that happen after a person clicks through to an online store from Reddit.

For example, if you click a link to a glitter phone case on Reddit and then buy that phone case, Reddit will make some money. 

It's partnering with the advertising company VigLink  to automatically rewrite links to around 1,500 different merchants. 

As Reddit has been trying to ramp up its ads business, this new affiliate linking strategy will give it another stream of money. 

The company originally planned to launch this feature sooner, but changed the roll-out date after commenters protested that the announcement should be posted more broadly first.  

People using the site can opt-out by right-clicking a link and copy and pasting it into their browser instead of clicking it directly. 

You can read the full post and comment thread here but here's the main announcement:

Hi everyone,

We’re going to be launching a feature that will automatically rewrite many links to online merchants so that they include a Reddit affiliate code. This feature will go live on June 3, 2016. Reddit will receive a small (generally single-digit) percentage of any purchases after someone clicks a link with one of our affiliate codes. This is part of our overall initiative to transform Reddit into a sustainable long-term business.

The feature works by passing the browser through our partner VigLink, which rewrites the URLs to include an affiliate code. VigLink is contractually obligated not to store any Reddit user information.

We’ve updated our user agreement to specifically include the affiliate program.

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