Instagram developing branded content marketplace for influencers

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Whatever your opinion of influencers may be, the fact of the the matter is that these social media savvy individuals are generating revenue from multiple streams. Aiming to court more of these influencers to its platform is Instagram, which is currently developing a number of creator-focused tools, including a branded content marketplace.

This according to Facebook (which owns Instagram) CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who confirmed the plans in a live stream with Instagram head Adam Mosseri, earlier this week.

The Creator Shops as they’re being called would help influencers find brands that match up with the type of content they create, along with allowing brands to see a wider pool of influencers other than the well known ones.

“We should be able to help brands find creators that are uniquely aligned with the work they’re trying to do and vice versa,” noted Mosseri during the live stream.

The other motivator for this marketplace, as CNBC points out, is the recent changes that Apple has made to iOS, barring social media companies from targeting ads on mobile devices.

This is not the first time that Facebook has looked to digital marketplaces in the past year, with both Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops being launched as an alternative for businesses who could not operate as intended with their brick and mortar stores as a result of COVID-19.

“That’s been especially important in the last year. A lot of physical stores have had to close during lockdowns, but online stays open,” highlighted Zuckerberg. “It can be a more personalised and convenient experience,” he added.

Along with the Creator Shops, there would also be an affiliate marketplace, which would allow creators and influencers to receive a percentage for any products or brands they endorse on Instagram. Whether audience, reach and a degree of influence would play a factor in the percentage earned, however, remains to be seen.

Either way it will be interesting to see whether Creator Shops will be a democratising factor that Facebook and Instagram are framing it to be, or whether the bigger names on the platform will continue to thrive.

For now though, neither Zuckerberg nor Mosseri, provided an ETA on rollout or testing of the in-development marketplace.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.