Money pound coins
Credit: Image by Images_of_Money on Flickr. Some rights reserved
Commenting platform Disqus has announced that it will pay publishers for referral traffic they drive to e-commerce sites like eBay and Amazon.

Publishers such as news sites that use Disqus for comments will be paid if a reader follows a link and makes a purchase.

Payments will be made by PayPal to any publisher which generates more than $100 from e-commerce linking and 'promoted discovery', Disqus's first move towards monetisation, which launched in August.

'Promoted discovery' articles are displayed in the personalised comment feed 'discovery box' on a site which uses Disqus. Readers can find related content from the site and elsewhere on the web. Some of the suggestions are organic while others are paid advertisements and a way that publishers can bring in revenue.

In an email to users of the platform, Disqus said the launch of e-commerce linking follows the success of 'promoted discovery'.

"We are very excited about the results so far," the email states.

The two monetisation initiatives are automatically introduced to sites using Disqus for commenting. They can be switched off in the settings menu.

A customer page on Disqus explains why Disqus has added e-commerce affiliate linking.

"Many publisher sites have content that reference and link to products, either in the body of an article (e.g. a review, a top 10 list, a comparison of products, etc.) or in the comments of an article.

"A very robust, sophisticated ecosystem has been built up that compensates publishers for sending qualified traffic to e-commerce sites.

"We are adding e-commerce linking to enable our publisher partners to participate in this ecosystem."

No indication is given as to what publishers can expect to earn. Disqus states that "there is no standard revenue share percentage as these percentages vary depending on costs, content and performance".

The first payments from Disqus to publishers will be made in the first quarter of 2013.

The Disqus explainer page adds that it has partnered with Viglink, "a leader in affiliate link technology", which provides the infrastructure.

Disqus adds: "We are not inserting links or changing anything about the look and feel of your page. Rather, we simply ensure that when you send traffic and that traffic buys a product, you earn money."

For more details and for information on disclosure, see the Disqus customer page.

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