As more and more affiliates are trying to figure out how to monetize Twitter, one of the largest affiliate programs on earth has decided against it. Amazon is refusing to pay affiliate commissions on clicks generated from Twitter, citing a clause in the TOS that states that the clicks have to be generated from “your site”. Since Twitter is not your site, the clicks are invalid (at least according to Amazon).
This seems like an odd move to me, and it”s an even odder move if it becomes a precedent for other websites that will no longer be accepted as legitimate traffic sources. What does this mean for affiliates that use 3rd party adservers or tracking software so that all the clicks appear to come from a different site than their own? Will Amazon only be allowing affiliates to place banners on their websites instead of the RSS methods that we have enjoyed up until this point?
I”m assuming that Amazon must have received a bunch of complaints about the links in Twitter as people were tricked into clicking by their “friends”. This is not really any different then when CPA advertisers declared that they would not accept traffic from MySpace or Facebook messages, bulletins, updates, friend spamming, etc. There were major lawsuits filed against several companies including Media Breakaway, parent company of affiliate.com. I suppose it is best if Amazon pulls the plug now instead of waiting for things to get ugly and bringing out the lawyers.
So bottom line, if you have a nice auto blog setup with an RSS feed to your Twitter account, you better pull the Amazon links from it ASAP or you are just burning money. As far as I know, you can still post eBay Partner Network links, RevTwt links, and CPA links.
It”s not quite back-to-the-drawing-board yet, but it is definitely a sign of things to come.