Instagram Will Let Creators Earn Shopping Referral Commissions, Part of Facebook’s Monetization Push
Mark Zuckerberg wants Instagram and Facebook to be “the best platform” for creators to make money, the Facebook CEO said in unveiling new monetization tools and programs — including a way for Instagram influencers to earn commissions from online sales they facilitate.
Zuckerberg announced the news at the inaugural Facebook/Instagram Creator Week event on Tuesday. It comes a day after the exec said Facebook would forgo taking a cut of revenue from creators until 2023 — and that even then, its split would be less than the 30% share Apple and other platforms collect.
“Our goal is to be the best platform for creators like you to make a living,” Zuckerberg said in remarks kicking off the massive company’s Creator Week. “And if you have an idea that you want to share with the world, you should be able to create it and get it out there easily and simply — across Facebook and Instagram — and then earn money for your work.”
Among the new programs: Instagram will begin testing a native affiliate tool (pictured above) that will let creators earn commissions for purchases made by followers based on their recommendations. Sellers set their own commission rates, and affiliate posts will be labeled “Eligible for Commission” so users know their purchase will support the creator.
The program will first launch as a test with a “small group” of U.S.-based creators and businesses including Benefit, Kopari, MAC, Pat McGrath Labs and Sephora, according to Instagram.
Zuckerberg told the invitation-only group of creators the new affiliate-shopping program means “that you and the whole next generation of creators are going to be able to build a business on Instagram by recommending products to your followers.”
Instagram is introducing other shopping tools for creators. For those who already have their own product lines, they can now link their shop to their personal profile in addition to their business profile — to let those creators display and sell their products directly to fans. The ability to link a shop to a personal profile will be available globally starting Tuesday.
Singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, in a statement provided by Instagram, said, “One great side of Instagram is the ability to stay connected with people across the globe and cultivate what feels like a tight-knit community. And now, with the addition of my shop on my profile, fans can seamlessly browse all the fun little things I’m constantly dreaming up right there on the app.” Musgraves has 2.1 million followers on Instagram.
In addition, Instagram creators will be able to set up a new shop with exclusive product launches by linking their account with one of the service’s four merchandise partners: Bravado/UMG, Fanjoy, Represent and Spring. That capability will roll out to all eligible creators in the U.S. by the end of 2021, according to Instagram.
Finally, Facebook will add more ways for creators to make extra money for hitting certain milestones when using Instagram Live’s Badges and Facebook’s Stars digital-tipping features (but the company didn’t specify exactly what those milestones are). For example, starting this week, Instagram creators are eligible to earn an extra payout if they go live with another account and sell a certain number of Badges in a livestream.
Said Zuckerberg, “At the end of the day, I really believe people are naturally creative and we want to share what we make with others — a lot of times we want to turn that into a career as well [and] everyone here today is proof of that. You just need access to the right tools, and that’s what we hope to continue to build for all of you.”
The Facebook CEO was introduced by Instagram creator Benny Drama (@bennydrama7) — although for the first several minutes, the audio on the livestream wasn’t working. Day 1 of the Facebook/Instagram Creator Week also included an appearance by actor-singer Olivia Rodrigo and a Q&A between influencer JoJo Siwa and Instagram head Adam Mosseri. Select content from Creator Week, including Zuckerberg’s opening remarks, is being shared publicly via Instagram’s @creators account.