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 earn commissions from online sales they facilitate.

Zuckerberg announced the new tools and initiatives at the inaugural Facebook/Instagram Creator Week event on Tuesday.

The announcements come a day after Zuckerberg said Facebook would forgo taking a cut of revenue from creators until 2023 — and 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 his remarks kicking off 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.

That 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,” Zuckerberg said.

The affiliate-shopping 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.

Instagram also 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 them 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 will roll out to all eligible creators in the U.S. by end of the year, according to Instagram.

Finally, Facebook will add more ways for creators to make extra money for hitting certain milestones when using Badges on Instagram Live and Stars on Facebook.

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.”

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