Twitterfeed announced this week that it has partnered with UK startup SkimLinks to offer publishers an option to automatically turn product links and references on blogs into affiliate sales links. Twitterfeed automates the publishing of blog feeds into Twitter and Facebook.Publishing service
SkimLinks over-writes links to products with affiliate links to any of several thousand vendors, and typically takes 25% of the affiliate revenue resulting from purchases originating on a publisher's site. Publishers retain 75% of revenue in exchange for producing the content and providing distribution.
Twitterfeed has extensive market penetration and is used to automate publishing to Twitter for organizations large and small. From CNN and the White House to the tiniest spam blogger (Twitterfeed tries to squash those, the company says), a very wide variety of publishers use the system. Some users find automatic publishing of RSS feeds into Twitter anti-social, but others aprove of the practice and consider Twitter a superior alternative to the RSS readers such feeds would otherwise be read through.
It was exactly one year ago today that Twitterfeed added real-time feed publishing with PubSubHubbub to its platform.
The Spread of Affiliate Links in Social Media
On one hand, monetization for publishers makes content production economically feasible and helps open up the ranks of voices that can afford to dedicate time to publishing. On the other hand, affiliate links in particular run the risk of skewing the editorial decisions made at the helm of today's free global printing press towards content that panders to consumption of consumer products.
Either way you look at it, when considering where money changes hands in the Twitter ecosystem, add the new Twitterfeed/SkimLinks partnership to the list.