The monetization hose is on full blast at Instagram now, and today at F8, Facebook unveiled one of the latest developments on that front. The company said that creators will now be able to tag items to sell them directly to people viewing their posts and Stories.
For now, this will work only on items that are tagged from businesses that are part of the new checkout beta program Instagram is running in the U.S.
It’s also part of a bigger transactional swing that we’re seeing at Instagram that extends beyond just catering to consumerism and influencers speaking to Instagram’s billion-plus users.
Today Instagram also confirmed that it would be adding donation stickers in Stories — something we reported it was working on several months ago.
The tags that creators and influencers can now add is a significant development on product tagging, which up to now had been reserved just for businesses and brands, not open to individuals.
But the purpose for now doesn’t seem to be to help creators make commissions on those sales. Facebook tells us that “at this time,” creators will not make a cut on any purchases made as a result of anyone clicking on links in their posts (meaning: it may come down the line).
Rather, the point is to cut down on some of the repeat questions that creators get about what they are wearing, and where to buy it. “People are already shopping from creators by asking product questions in comments and Direct,” a spokesperson said. “With the ability to tag products, creators can provide the information their followers are looking for and get back to expressing themselves and sharing what’s on their mind, which will make their followers happy too.”
But they are not getting diddly, either. The spokesperson notes that creators will also receive additional insights with shopping posts, such as engagements and shopping insights. For those who are making a living out of their influencer status, these could help them leverage better deals with those brands, longer term.
Instagram will start testing first with a small group of creators over the next few weeks, including on the accounts of Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian West, Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Leesa Angelique (who runs @saythelees).
“It’s my job to share beauty secrets and tips,” she said about the new feature. “I’m usually writing long, detailed captions about the latest products I’ve been using. Having this tool just makes it that much easier to let everyone know what I’m wearing and from where – down to the shade.”