YouTube prohibits the use of affiliate marketing in Shorts

We regret to inform you that YouTube is temporarily suspending affiliate marketing within the Shorts department. This decision was made due to the escalating issue of spam in short-form video content on the platform. Effective August 31st, all affiliate links added to Shorts descriptions, comments, and the vertical live feed will become unclickable.

In our ongoing fight against spam, YouTube previously removed banner links from the Shorts department on August 10th. These spam links often led unsuspecting users to dangerous content such as malware and phishing scams. While YouTube and its parent company, Google, have implemented measures to detect and remove spam links, the problem persists, especially with fan accounts. However, removing all links may have unintended consequences for legitimate brands and businesses impacted by the spamming issue.

Rest assured, YouTube recognizes the importance of links for creators and plans to reinstate the ability to add links to other YouTube content starting August 23rd. Additionally, a new space will be provided on creators’ profiles where they can share links outside of YouTube.

We are also excited to announce that content links for Shorts will be introduced in September. These improvements aim to make linking in Shorts more intuitive and seamless, enabling cross-promotion within the YouTube platform. However, please note that these links will remain limited to Shorts content only. External linking from Shorts will not be possible, as YouTube believes this will strengthen the Shorts ecosystem.

We understand that these changes may pose challenges for affiliate marketers, as additional steps may be required to guide viewers from Shorts content to their desired affiliate links. With links confined to creator profiles, the customer’s journey may be affected, particularly for those who operate on a pay-per-click basis.

As an alternative, creators on YouTube Shorts can direct users to their profiles, where they can utilize LinkTree or similar tools to guide viewers to various links beyond YouTube.

While YouTube Shorts had the potential to be a lucrative channel for affiliate marketing, our stringent measures to combat spam may have hindered its full potential. We appreciate your understanding and ongoing support as we work towards creating a safer and more reputable platform for all creators and users.

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