In March, we heard rumours that Instagram would be launching an affiliate feature, and today it has finally been revealed. 

What began as a simple photo-sharing app has now become a worldwide favourite, with its feet firmly planted in e-commerce. Influencers have long reigned over the platform, but it seems there are finally changes coming into play which will mean the integration between content-sharing and monetisation will be more seamless than ever.

Instagram has shared on it’s ‘creators’ account how it’s new affiliate programme, which will be rolled out over the coming months, will allow creators, when creating a Feed or Story post, to not only tag the exact products they are featuring in their content, but earn commission on any sales they drive from that content.

The programme will not only benefit creators on Instagram, who will be able to drive greater income, but will also engage and interest their audiences who are on the lookout for new product recommendations. Users can shop and invest in the products they want to buy, all while supporting their favourite creators. 

Comments on the Instagram post announcing the programme are extremely positive, with users and creators alike sharing how they’re ‘excited to see this in action’ and how ‘this is going to be a huge monetisation step for creators’.

It is still unclear whether all users will be able to use the feature, or if it is limited to creators with a certain amount of followers.

Journalist Neve Fear-Smith, at influencer marketing industry publication, Talking Influence, heavily focuses on the growth of the influencer marketing industry, and focuses on how creators are business entities within themselves. She says: “A move like this from a platform as huge as Instagram, which so many creators are native to, further emphasises that content creation is a professional business. 

“Where many industries are still failing to recognise the legitimacy of content creation and influencer marketing in regards to earning a living, Instagram not only recognises the opportunities, but is offering more.

“This tool will be great for those who are just starting out to earn extra income when beginning to engage in paid and sponsored post partnerships, but also great for established creators who have large audiences who are on the market for product recommendations.” 

PerformanceIN will continue to follow the roll out of Instagram’s affiliate programme, monitoring it’s success, as well as looking at how the creators using the tool are reaping the benefits and the impact this development will have on influencer marketing agencies.