Instagram is attempting to monetize itself in a similar way to youtube, by creating its own version of the partnership program. Interestingly, Instagram and Facebook are rolling out new and innovative ways in which creators can monetize their content, all while throttling the organic reach any new creators or small accounts will get.
Until recently Instagram has relied on basic advertising for revenue, but they are attempting to make the monetization all-pervasive to incentivize users to remain on the platform longer. Many of these rollouts will benefit already established big creators but will not really help smaller beginner creators. But despite this facebook held their first Creator week declaring the importance of creators to the platform and their promise to support them.
So below is a summary of the latest Instagram features for monetization
Instagram Affiliate Tool
One of the major launches is the news that Instagram is beginning to roll out a native affiliate tool. This new tool will enable creators to discover new products available for purchase in the app, then share them with their followers and earn commissions for any subsequent purchases that they drive.
The new process will enable eligible creators to choose from products available in the app to add to their posts. And if users tap through on their post, and go on to make a purchase, the creator will get a commission – so it’s essentially an influencer marketing process without the creator having to do any of the negotiation or leg-work to put the incentive deal in place.
The keyword is “eligible”. Of course, Instagram will not allow any old creator to enter into affiliate partnerships, as that might result in some embarrassing situations. But Instagram has not specified what makes you eligible yet. It will very likely be some kind of combination of follower count and verification or something like Twitter.
The affiliated content will have a special ‘eligible for commission’ tag so the potential buyers can know that by purchasing that product they also support their favorite creator.
Currently, this tool is tested with US-based creators such as Kopari, Benefit, MAC, Pat McGrath Labs, and Sephora and it is planned to expand to more creators in the future.
Creators Instagram Shops
The beginnings of the shopping tools on Instagram date back 2 years ago when they first introduce Instagram Checkout and after a few iterations and rollouts, the platform has evolved in providing dedicated Facebook Shops. and also Instagram Shops, for each of the networks respectively that mostly use the same platform in the backend.
Instagram Shops are extremely valuable for Creators who sell their own products. It is probably the most innovative mobile and e-commerce solution that makes it easy for the sellers and also for the buyers to make a quick and secure purchase right on their mobile phones.
Instagram rollout a global option allowing Creators to link Instagram shops not just with their brands business profile but also with their personal accounts in order to expand the reach of their product lines
Creators can use Bravado/UMG, Fanjoy, Represent, and Spring to make new product launches and excite their Instagram followers. This will be available at the end of the year.
Instagram Live Badges
These seem to be very similar to twitch donations for those of you familiar with that platform
Instagram badges are a feature that allows you to show support to creators during a live video. When you purchase a badge during a live video, a heart icon appears next to your name in the comments.
Once badges are purchased:
Badges will remain next to your name during that live.
Your hearts are highlighted in the comments field during that live.
Your Instagram name appears on a list visible to the creator of that live video for up to 90 days.
If you ask a question during that live, your question will be highlighted to the creator.
If you make a comment during that live chat, your comment may be pinned by the creator.
Also similar to this is Facebook live stars. These again your audience can send to you while you live stream For every Star you receive, Facebook will pay you $0.01 USD.
In the hope to boost interaction, Facebook is launching Stars Challenges. This allows Creators in the program to earn payouts from Facebook in the form of free Stars, if they meet certain milestones, such as broadcasting a certain number of hours or earning a set number of Stars within a designated time period
4. Waiving commission
Last but not least, Instagram has removed any commissions until the end of next year. ‘Products where users pay creators directly we are waiving all fees through the end of next year,”
… Which means, that once the year is over… you will be paying Instagram commissions. So yes, these new tools are very interesting and will probably be very beneficial to creators. But these new updates will be making Instagram more like a streaming platform, pay to play. These new updates will very likely skew the benefits towards pre-established creators