Since last week, e-commerce giant Amazon has been beta testing an influencer marketing programme, allowing handpicked social media influencers to promote and gain commission on products they want to promote.

Much like the site’s Associates affiliate programme, the ‘Amazon Influencer Program’ works by providing trackable product links to participating members, which can then be promoted on their choice of social platform, resulting in a product-variable commission handed out for every sale the site lands.

The only major difference between the two is that whereas Associates is open to the public, Amazon’s influencer programme is exclusive only to social media influencers it’s happy to attach to its brand, although anyone can apply on its page.

According to the group, that’s based on criteria including follower count, post engagement, quality of content and relevancy, however, Amazon told TechCrunch last week that there is “no set cut-off and influencers across all tiers and categories are represented in the program.”

Once vetted and on board, Amazon’s influencers are given a unique vanity URL – which can be placed in the description of an Instagram post, for example – that will take shoppers through to a selection of the member’s recommended or featured products on Amazon. That will include all the usual product information the site’s shoppers are used to, such as thumbnail images, price and Prime delivery status.

For members of its Associates programme looking to get on board, Amazon emphasises that its influencers programme is “optimised to meet the needs of social media influencers just as the Amazon Associates program is optimised for affiliates with websites”, adding that it is “not currently able” to support all features for both programmes.

As yet, there is no information on whether influencers on the programme are receiving a better commission than their affiliate-programme counterparts, and having been launched less than a week ago, only a handful of influencers have joined the programme so far during the trial phase.