New Instagram Feature: Instagram Affiliate Program


During their Creator Week this week, the team at Instagram announced some very big updates that both Instagram Influencers and marketers can expect to see roll out on their dashboards in the coming weeks.

The first feature is a new Instagram Influencer affiliate dashboard that will enable Instagram Influencers to make a percent commission of the sales they drive if one of their followers buys an item through their post. This new native affiliate tool on Instagram will allow creators to share products in the app, and then earn commission on orders that they drive.

(credit Instagram)

This new feature will be tested with a small group of content creators based in the US, and if all goes well, will roll out nationwide.

The next feature is a new e-commerce experience for Instagram Influencers that will allow them to easily link to their personal storefronts that they may host through online e-commerce stores like Shopify.

(credit Instagram)

Additionally, this new feature will allow Instagram Influencers to curate their own shops on their Instagram accounts, rather than utilizing notable affiliate platforms like RewardStyle, to create a “Shop my Instagram” section on their website. Now everything can live under their new shopping experience within their profile. According to the Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, “this is a part of a bigger effort to support creators as they build their careers- whether they want to connect with brands, get paid for content or earn money directly from fans”.

Why are all of these updates so important to the Influencer industry? Well first we say, it’s about time Instagram finally rolls these features out. While many in the industry say that this is Instagram’s attempt to keep creators on the platform, as we’ve seen a mass exodus to platforms like TikTok and YouTube due to Instagram’s constant Algorithm changes, we’re first to say that Zuck and his team are never one to miss out on a buck. In our opinion this is Instagram’s attempt to start getting a piece of the pie when it comes to the revenue that Instagram Influencers can make when driving sales for brands through affiliate links.

But what does this change mean for Creators and Instagram Influencers? This change is incredibly important for two reasons:

  • We won’t see the same brands featured over and over: As a creator, you now will have the chance to not just create stories based on brands that are in RewardStyle, ShopStyle and other affiliate platforms, but you can create content for your community with pieces from brands that you love. We spoke about this in a post last year, but the fact that many brands are not on notable affiliate platforms like RewardStyle and ShopStyle, has lead to a serious lack of inclusivity on Instagram as emerging businesses and brands that are not big box retailers either don’t have the teams to run an affiliate program, or they don’t know how to. This means, Instagram Influencers can’t link to them and it creates a poor shopping experience for their followers, and doesn’t allow for % commission earned on the sale. This will change that.
  • A better Instagram Shopping Experience: This update will allow for a much better relationship with your community. As you are growing your business on Instagram, your followers will be able to directly shop your posts via the app, rather than having to go to another website or app to shop your look.

Why this is important for brands and markers: It’s virtually impossible to track sales from an Instagram post if you are a marketer running a sponsored campaign with an Influencer. This update will change that. In an industry where marketers are still trying to understand how to calculate ROI on an influencer post, we fully anticipate that with this new update, Instagram will roll out an analytics dashboard that will enable you as a brand to track how many sales an Instagram Influencer post drove.

So will this all create a better experience for Instagram Influencers and brands using Instagram in 2021 and beyond to drive sales? We certainly hope so, but we are cautiously optimistic, and will be sure to keep you updated via our newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

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