Amazon’s social media influencer programme has rolled out a self-service tool for YouTube stars to earn commission on the retailer’s products they promote in their videos.

Launched earlier this year in closed beta testing, Amazon Influencer Program was initially open to the selected few whose applications were judged based on various elements such as their following, fan engagement, and quality of content. Successful influencers went on to build their own landing pages on Amazon to sell products featured in their videos.

The launch of the self-service tool will simplify the application process which might lead to more influencers joining the programme.

Social Circle’s MD, Matt Donegan, believes the update could be a “huge revenue pull” – if the company gets it right.

“If not, it’ll just be another competitor for influencer attention in a widely contested space,” he commented, adding authenticity as the core value of influencer marketing should be put at the forefront of the initiative: “Incentivising influencers with commission is a nice bonus, but ultimately if an influencer recommends products they don’t genuinely value just to drive revenue, their followers will see through it and lose respect for them,” he said.

As influencer marketing becomes a well-established channel, it’s no surprise Amazon aims to position itself closer to social media.

Donegan believes the move is a “signal to the market” that the online retailer understands the power and impact influencers have on brands, however, in his view this isn’t anything new.

“Bringing YouTubers on board is less of a stroke of genius than a stroke of common sense – they bring large and loyal audiences to products regularly and are a hugely expanding market,” Donegan explained.  

Amazon’s influencer programme is still at a beta testing stage.