Instagram is experimenting with new features to make it easier for creators to generate money on the platform. This is big news for small creatives hoping to make a living from selling and offering their services and products through social media.
Affiliate shops, which were first shown off at the app’s Creator Week event in June, are now being tested, as well as a dedicated “partnerships” inbox. Affiliate stores are a natural extension of Facebook‘s existing shopping facilities, which are frequently used. However, the most recent version of the storefronts now allows creators to link to products that are already included in their affiliate agreements.
When their followers buy things from these shops, creators will receive commission payments (though the actual details of these relationships haven’t been revealed yet, but we suspect that this information will be rolling out soon). For the time being, the shopping option will only be available to users who are members of the affiliate network, according to the business.
Partnerships DM section
Instagram is also experimenting with new inbox capabilities that it claims would make it easier for brands to reach out to creators for sponsorship opportunities. A feature of this sort will definitely make it smoother for creators to create connections on the app. Instagram DMs will now have a distinct “partnerships” section for brand messaging. According to the firm, this will give those communications “priority placement,” allowing them to bypass the “requests” section, where incoming messages are frequently lost.
Separately, the app is developing tools to connect advertisers with content creators seeking sponsorships. Creators can use the tools to find businesses with which they want to collaborate directly from the app. Corporations would be able to search for creators who meet their criteria based on age, gender, and number of followers. The tools are still in their early stages, with only a few companies and creators currently participating.
However, the business has previously stated that such functions could be considerably expanded. Instagram is creating a “branded content marketplace,” according to Mark Zuckerberg, to enable a larger “creative middle class.”
The idea of a creative middle class is very intriguing, and urges us to question how much is too much in the world of social media and online existence. Have we reached the point of no return, where creators online will no longer need outside sponsorship? There is some merit to this idea, and perhaps some good that will come out of it.
Photo via Instagram