On Monday, Instagram commenced its first-ever virtual Creator Week where nearly 5,000 creators will tune in for three days of live sessions aimed at helping them successfully build their brand on the platform.
Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the event with an exciting announcement for creators: Instagram is launching three new creator monetization tools including a native affiliate program, creator shops and an update to Badges.
During the Creator Week opening remarks, Zuckerberg said:
“Our goal is to be the best platform for creators like you to make a living. If you have an idea that you want to share in 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. That’s why we’re focused on developing dedicated and creative monetization tools to support the creator economy.”
A native affiliate program is the first new feature that Instagram is testing. Set to launch in the coming months, the tool will enable creators to recommend products to their followers and earn a commission on the purchases they drive. According to Zuckerberg, brands will be able to set their own commission rates and the creators’ posts will explicitly note that a percentage of the sale will directly go to the creator.
Next, Instagram will allow creators to sell their own products and merchandise by opening a new shop on their personal Instagram profile. The feature, which is currently in testing, is in response to feedback from creators who said they want better ways for supporters to buy from them.
The third new tool coming soon to Instagram is the ability for influencers to open a new shop by linking their account with one of Facebook’s merchandise partners which include Bravado, Fanjoy, Represent and Spring Merchant.
Lastly, Instagram will introduce new ways for creators to earn extra cash from Badges on Instagram and Stars on Facebook when they reach certain milestones. For example, as Zuckerberg noted, if you go live using badges on Instagram consistently over four weeks or if you earn a set number of Stars over a certain period of time, you may be eligible to earn additional payout.
It’s yet to be seen if these updates are appealing enough to keep Instagram creators from jumping over to TikTok. But it seems Facebook is sweetening the deal enough to keep creators’ attention. Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook will not be collecting any revenue share from these new products until 2023 and that when they do introduce the revenue share, it’s going to be less than the 30 percent that Apple and others take.