For those of you unaware or that haven’t heard about it, Pinterest is a visual bulletin board that allows users to organize and share things that interest them.

The site is estimated to have received nearly 11 million visits during one week in December (almost 40 times the number of visits than the previous six months.

It has has been around for nearly two years, but has seen a significant growth in interest and use over the last couple of months however, it has been all the chatter over the last couple of days for a completely different reason. Recent news and social media outlets have reported that Pinterest is changing user submitted pins to make money.

When a user posts a pin to Pinterest that links to an ecommerce site , if that ecommerce site has an affiliate program, Pinterest modifies the original link and adds their own affiliate tracking code. If someone clicks through the picture from Pinterest and makes a purchase, Pinterest gets paid. You can read the story here.

But is this really news? Amongst the chatter, there are differing opinions. There are many instances in social media where links are “changed”. Consider all of the  social media publishing tools around the web, that shorten longer URLs before posting. What is really occurring during those short redirects? Does anyone out there really know?

For those of you out there who is using pinterest.com what are your thoughts about it?