[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Instagram Turns Influencers Into Cash Cows

Instagram announces new shopping & affiliate marketing features 

As with most marketing tactics, influencer marketing has its fair share of problems.

From fake followers to pods, to fraud, to contracting, to being tone-deaf, inappropriate behaviour and everything in between.

But, perhaps the biggest issue, from a business perspective, is determining return on investment (ROI).

Well, for brands and retailers, that might have just got a bit easier, with the recent announcement of a host of new Shopping and Affiliate Marketing features within Instagram.


“Today, select creators can tag products from the brands they work with or use Shops if they have their own product line. We want to give more creators access to our shopping tools and allow them to get rewarded for the purchases they drive.”

When people come across an affiliate post from a creator featuring a tagged product, they will see “eligible for commission” at the top of the post, so it’s clear that their purchases help support that creator.


“In the coming months, we’ll begin testing a native affiliate tool that will allow creators to discover new products available on checkout, share them with their followers and earn commissions for the purchases they drive, all within the Instagram app.”

The platform says users will be able to shop from the creators they love and give brands a fresh way to partner with influencers across the platform, while those creators have a new incentive to help brands sell.

Affiliate commerce is set to go big

Affiliate commerce will provide creators with another path to revenue, and it helps Instagram consolidate its eCommerce initiatives as it seeks to grab a bigger slice of that pie.

However, it could be a risky move for brands and marketers.

There doesn’t seem to be a way for companies to have any direct say in who endorses products, nor does there appear to be a veto if brands don’t like the content.

On the other hand, it’ll allow brands to engage in influencer marketing with a much smaller overhead.

This latest move will undoubtedly help Insta to monetise its platform further and provide new incentives for creators to turn their attention to Instagram and away from competitors such as TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat, which have all upped their games in recent months.

Creator shops hand autonomy to influencers

Creators who have their own merchandise will be able to sell their wares on the platform through an existing shop or by opening a new one on Instagram.

Those with their own product lines will be able to use their personal profile to sell and their business profile, which will allow accounts to display and create additional revenue by the direct sale to fans.

Additionally, eligible US creators will be able to drive exclusive product launches from Instagram by linking their account with one of four partners: Sprig, Fanjoy, Represent and Bravado/UMG.

Stars and badges overhaul

There’s another way now for creators to earn across Facebook and Instagram. Badges on Insta Live and Stars on Facebook are ways for fans to make little payments to the people they love.

Instagram has recently updated this program in the following ways:

  • Instagram creators can earn extra payouts when they hit specified milestones while using badges in Live.
  • Facebook’s Star Challenges means creators can earn payouts if they hit certain milestones, such as hours broadcast or the number of stars earned within a time period.


“We have continued to add improvements to these features to unlock more earning potential, such as adding the ability for supporters to purchase multiple badges during an Instagram livestream, testing the ability for fans to send Stars during recorded content and expanding Stars to nine new markets.”

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