At the inaugural Creator Week for Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg — the CEO of parent company Facebook — teased a number of new tools currently in the works that are designed to support the creator economy.
In addition to brand deals, advertising, virtual gifts, fan subscriptions, and the ability to host paid events, Zuckerberg said that Instagram is in the process of building a native affiliate tool that will function on top of its existing shopping products.
The affiliate program will enable creators to earn a cut of commissions on sales transacted through their proprietary links. The affiliate program will only be available for products on Checkout, Zuckerberg said, a tool that facilitates sales directly on Instagram. Brands will be able to set their own commission rates, he added, and labels on pertinent posts will read ‘Eligible for Commission’ to alert followers that creators will earn a cut of any ensuing sales.
In a blog post, Instagram said that the affiliate tool (pictured above) will roll out in coming months. At launch, the product will be tested among a small group of U.S. creators and beauty brands, including Benefit, Kopari, MAC, Pat McGrath Labs, and Sephora.
Zuckerberg also shared that creators will soon be able to open merch shops on their Instagram profiles. Beginning today, creators will be able to add links to existing shops on their personal profiles. And by year’s end, creators in the U.S. will be able to set up shops on Instagram by linking their accounts to one of the platform’s four merch partners: Bravado (Universal Music Group’s merch unit), Fanjoy, Represent, and Spring.
And finally, Zuckerberg teased a new rewards initiative for creators who reach certain milestones using Stars and Badges — the virtual gifts that creators can earn while livestreaming on Facebook and Instagram, respectively. Beginning this week, Instagram creators will be eligible for additional payouts if they go live with another account. And on Facebook, creators can receive free Stars if they reach certain thresholds, such as broadcasting for a certain number of hours or earning a set number of Stars within a designated time period.
“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,” Zuckerberg said. “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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