Instagram allows influencers to create their own stores
The brand’s reach on Instagram could explode shortly.
The latest batch of announcements for the social media company turned social commerce platform on Friday included an item that would give its affiliate program content creators their own stores.
More from WWD
According to Instagram, he will begin testing “Affiliate Designer Stores” for a select group of US-based designers this week.
The affiliate link is a proven way for brands and retailers to market their products online, while putting a little or a lot of money in the sponsor’s pocket. This is evident across all social media, as influencers strike deals to hype some of the deals or other revenue sharing deals.
But the experience tends to be sloppy, maybe even chaotic, as fans who embrace a designer’s look or style have to scour their feed for specific product recommendations or catch items that pop up.
With the test, creators can set up their own digital storefronts as a single destination, accessible under a “View Store” button on their profiles. When they tout an affiliate related product in a post, they see an option to add it to their store.
Restraint, at least for now, is the ladder. Instagram’s commission-based program is not yet widely available.
“We have an affiliate program available for a handful of brands and designers,” Christina Cua, director of product marketing at Instagram, told WWD. “We are doing the test within this program, which allows these creators to have a showcase on their profile.
“So if you’re a fan of Creator XYZ, you can go to that creator’s profile, click on a tab – which is basically their storefront – and see all the products that they’ve curated or that they recommend, that they can have an affiliate partnership with, ”she said.
If the test and the program grows, the brand’s reach on Instagram could indeed create a huge network of digital stores on the platform very quickly.
This commerce effect seems clear, although Instagram prefers to take the test as part of an effort to strengthen collaboration between creators and brands. The effort includes other features and tests, one of which introduces another intriguing concept to influencers. Functionally, this is akin to a branding service.
It starts with a new “partnerships” messaging folder in Direct Messages, making it easier for businesses and taste makers to find and connect. These people can also filter contacts from a list of favorite brands, and this makes it easier to match because businesses can see who is interested in them. It reads like a Tinder dating app, but for brands and influencers.
“[Companies] can then filter, discover and select the creators that best suit them, based on the criteria they’re looking for, and find people to partner with on our platform, ”explained Cua.
The pilot, also based in the United States, kicks off with a test group of designers and select brands including Elf Cosmetics, Eva NYC, Dr. Dennis Gross and Keys Soulcare.
Beyond testing, which is set to begin on Monday, Instagram said it is launching branded content ads for Reels globally, a feature introduced to a more limited scope earlier this year. Along with the launch, the company plans to offer the ability to increase organic feed and story posts in the form of announcements and new account authorizations for creators.