Today we’re launching a test to rewrite links (in both comments and posts) to automatically include an affiliate URL crediting Reddit with the referral to approximately five thousand merchants (Amazon won’t be included). This will only happen in cases where an existing affiliate link is not already in place. Only a small percentage of users will experience this during the test phase, and all affected redditors will be able to opt out via a setting in user preferences labelled “replace all affiliate links”.
We’re structuring this as a test so we can better evaluate the opportunity. There are a variety of ways we can improve this feature, but we want to learn if it’s worth our time. It’s important that Reddit become a sustainable business so that we may continue to exist. To that end, we will explore a variety of monetization opportunities. Not everything will work, and we appreciate your understanding while we experiment.
Thanks for your support.
Will this work with my adblocker?
Yes, we specifically tested for this case and it should work fine.
Are the outgoing links HTTPS?
Why are you using a third party instead of just implementing it yourselves?
Integrating five thousand merchants across multiple countries is non-trivial. Using Viglink allowed us to integrate a much larger number of merchants than we would have been able to do ourselves.
Can I switch this off for my subreddit?
Not right now, but we will be discussing this with subreddit mods who are significantly affected before a wider rollout.
Will this change be reflected in the site FAQ?
Yes, this will be completed shortly. This is available here
EDIT (additional FAQ): Will the opt out be for links I post, or links I view? When you opt out, neither content you post nor content you view will be affiliatized.
EDIT (additional FAQ 2): What will this look like in practice? If I post a link to a storm trooper necklace and don't opt out or include an affiliate link then when you click this link, it will be rewritten so that you're redirected through Viglink and Reddit gets an affiliate credit for any purchase made.
EDIT 3 We've added some questions about this feature to the FAQ
EDIT 4 For those asking about the ability to opt out – based on your feedback we'll make the opt out available to everyone (not just those in the test group), so that if the feature rolls out more widely then you'll already be opted out provided you have changed the user setting. This will go live later today.
EDIT 5 The user preference has been added for all users. If you do not want to participate, go ahead and uncheck the box in your user preferences labeled “replace affiliate links” and content you create or view will not have affiliate links added.
EDIT (additional FAQ 3): Can I get an ELI5? When you click on a link to some (~5k) online stores, Reddit will get a percentage of the revenue of any purchase. If you don't like this, you can opt out via the user preference labeled “replace affiliate links”.
EDIT (additional FAQ 4): The name of the user preference is confusing, can you change it? Feedback taken, thanks. The preference will be changed to “change links into Reddit affiliate links”. I'll update the text above when the change rolls out. Thanks!
EDIT (additional FAQ 5): What will happen to existing affiliate links? This won't interfere with existing affiliate links.