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Skimlinks on Talk

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

AmyGMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 03-Feb-17 18:54:39

Hi folks,

Some of you might have spotted a few more links in discussions across the site - this is because we're testing out a programme called Skimlinks, which auto-converts some of your brand mentions into links.

This makes it easier for you to have a look at products that other MNers happen to mention on the boards, and, if you decide to make a purchase from one of these links, Mumsnet benefits from a small commission.

Thanks all - let us know if you experience any issues that you think might be related.


SapphireBird Sun 05-Feb-17 09:25:37

I refuse to click on them <shrugs>

I'd rather do it the long way. If I benefited financially, I might consider, but it's all about getting us to part with our hard earned money.

SoupDragon Sun 05-Feb-17 11:37:30

I hate this.

It's intrusive and shit.

SoupDragon Sun 05-Feb-17 11:38:28

What is also irritating is that you can't tell if someone has given you a helpful link or if it's just advertising.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sun 05-Feb-17 19:32:49

Agreed. I know how to open the Sainsbury's and ASDA sites if I want to. Odd how it isn't working for Tesco or Morrison's or Waitrose.

AuntieStella Sun 05-Feb-17 22:14:18

Didn't you try this before?

And remove it because so many people disliked it?

I still dislike it. It's intrusive and seems money-grabbing - worse than ads, because it's actually intruding into posts. And could well just be a mention of a company, not actually a recommendation or endorsement.

I don't mind ads all round the edge, btw.

Just not in the chat.

ClaudiaWankleman Sun 05-Feb-17 23:26:37

I hate it. It's distracting and looks cheap. MN resembles one of those sites you stumble across googling song lyrics that directs you to a new page on every click.

SwedishEdith Mon 06-Feb-17 00:00:34

Awful. Just because I make a comment about Sains bury's doesn't mean I want to advertise them. And, yes, I think you've done this before.

AuntieStella Mon 06-Feb-17 07:16:50

When there's a new feature, the MNHQ thread explaining it is usually stickies in a Active (not just the topic).

Any particular reason why this one is not?

SoupDragon Mon 06-Feb-17 07:19:35

I do particularly like the way Vir gin media is linked lots of times on a thread that is mostly slagging them off. I'm sure they'll be delighted with that!

This has definitely happened before but the time I remember, it wasn't deliberate.

EssieTregowan Mon 06-Feb-17 07:20:01

I hate it (although I'm not seeing it on the mobile site tbf). It always makes me think of awful click bait articles. It feels cheap and nasty.

AuntieStella Mon 06-Feb-17 07:24:31

When the company name is also a vocabulary word, it looks really tacky.

Posts about the sweetness of skiing on Virgin snow just become an advert.
Because let's face it, it's advertising.

OK, it's your site and you can choose to turn my post into an advert. But it's not nice.

(And it doesn't show in 'preview', so if you want to remove ads from your post, you cannot do that)

SoupDragon Mon 06-Feb-17 07:37:12

Posts about the sweetness of skiing on Virgin snow just become an advert.

Only if it's vir gin media snow.

AuntieStella Mon 06-Feb-17 07:47:10

Gotcha - sorry, my bad (I was thinking of examples, not reporting what I'd seen: the annoying random capitalisation being np my keyboard going rogue)

(and explains why it didn't appear in preview)

(Test: posting the names Virgin Media and Sainsbury's just to see if skimming them happens - I have used post preview and they're not showing as links)

Sparklingbrook Mon 06-Feb-17 07:52:07

It's awful. I am sure this was done before too. Everyone hated it the first time as well.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 06-Feb-17 07:58:49

Oh bloody hell MN, if you are so strapped for cash would you please consider a paid for ad free version of the site.

"Skim links" will just make people think they have inadvertently downloaded some sort of malware which is what usually causes this.

DonkeyOaty Mon 06-Feb-17 08:11:34

They don't show on the mobile site. Not the app, the old fashioned mobile one that you get to by scrolling down to the very bottom of the main site and clicking the "mobile site" button.

I'm not averse to clicking on adverts sometimes by mistake, oops as we all know that clicks = income for MN and that keeps the site free-to-use.

PencilsInSpace Mon 06-Feb-17 08:16:12

Horrible idea. If you have Avast antivirus there is a widget you can install in your browser that blocks all this shit.

Another vote for a paid for ad free version of the site. I want to support MN but not like this!

HeavenlyEyes Mon 06-Feb-17 08:20:38

awful and looks like a sinister redirect virus. What a let down MN - I doubt many will click on the links so can't see it being a huge money spinner tbh. Find it offputting and a bit tacky tbh.

HeavenlyEyes Mon 06-Feb-17 08:22:02

After doing every scan and spyware blaster known to man I found Adblock Pro on Chrome will get rid of it. I really thought my machine was screwed with another virus when I first spotted this last week.

DoctorTwo Mon 06-Feb-17 08:27:52

In the pasr, me seeing Skimlinks (scamlinks) has led me to believe my anti virus has allowed a piece of malware through. Allowing potential malware on a legitimate site is a backward step.

DonkeyOaty Mon 06-Feb-17 08:39:23

But I don't like skim links is what I meant to add.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 06-Feb-17 10:04:32

Hi all,
Sorry you're not keen on these links. Obviously we do have to pay the bills and we are constantly trying to find the least intrusive ways of doing so. Over the past few weeks we've rejected various high-impact ad formats - pushdowns, expandables and interscrollers - which you'll increasingly notice on other sites and which feel like the way online advertising is going. The revenue that we currently make from the banner at the top and the square one at the side on desktop is therefore under threat and the pressure to be more intrusive, not less is growing.

We've always been against a paywall philosophically because we think Mumsnet should be available to everyone, not just those who can afford it. I also doubt it will work as a substitute as many folk are just against paying. That said, it's possibly something we could experiment with as an alternative - e.g. pay for the ad free version and we are also looking at alternative ways to generate revenue other than advertising. I'm sure we'll get there over time but until we do we've got to pay the bills somehow.

Obviously, the last thing we want to do is ruin your user experience but, in truth, there's got to be a compromise somewhere and we think there's an argument at least for these word links as at times at least they have some utility. It may well be something that feels less irritating in time - often these things are less noticeable once you've got used to them. So can we give it a few weeks please and see if the irritation fades a bit?

firawla Mon 06-Feb-17 10:29:43

Just to give an alternative view point, I'm not bothered by it at all!

Waltons Mon 06-Feb-17 10:29:43

Not a fan of this either, and there are some rather curious ones appearing, e.g. in the third post down on this thread, where the words "own previous username" have become a link:

Clicking on it takes you to "Google: My". If the software is that unsophisticated, I think you're going to get some seriously inappropriate links at times. Just saying ...

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