Instagram is building a suite of money-making tools for creators. Here are few features it’s testing or has begun to roll out.

Instagram is leading the charge to win over creators by offering money-making opportunities.

Facebook has released several new monetization tools over the last year. Facebook recently pledged $1 billion to invest in these features.

The conversation about the creator economy has been heated, from Instagram employees to Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Zuckerberg stated that “our goal is to provide the best platform for creators such as you to make money” during Instagram’s first-ever Creator Week. He also revealed several new monetization tools.

Adam Mosseri is Instagram‘s top executive and has spoken out about how the app must evolve to meet creators’ needs and give them tools to make money.

Instagram is now catching up to Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok.

Facebook has created several additional “Creator Incentive Programs” as part of its $1 billion investment. These programs will reward creators who post to Instagram (and Facebook).

“Bonuses” is a program that pays creators to post to IG Live, IGTV, and Reels. The app’s creator tools will soon have a dedicated place for bonuses. Although it isn’t called a “creator funds,” it’s as close as you can get to one.

What should influencer industry insiders and creators learn about all these new features?

Creators can get tips via “Badges,” which are available on IG Live.

It is what it is: Like Twitch’s “Bits,” badges allow fans to tip their favorite creators on Instagram via IG Live. This feature was announced in May 2020 in response to an increase in IG Live usage. It was then rolled out to a broader audience by October. It is now available for use in 11 countries. Facebook also offers its version: “Stars.” 

How much (and how little) creators make: Ronne Brown, a social media influencer and entrepreneur, revealed to Insider that she earned $1,000 in Badges in October. In June, Instagram released an update to Badges. This encourages creators to go live and earn “Bonuses” when they reach certain milestones. These three milestones allow creators to make as much as $500 and an additional $250 each time they go live for four weeks. Instagram has not yet indicated when the program will end.

Instagram is currently testing placing ads on IGTV videos and sharing a portion of the revenue with creators.

It is what it is: If they have access to the in-beta feature, creators can earn a portion of IGTV’s ad revenues. Similar to YouTube’s Partner Program, which pays creators a percentage of revenue generated by Google-placed ads on videos, the IGTV program works in the same way.

How much (and how little) creators make: Justin Osofsky, Instagram’s COO, told Insider that creators would be paid a 55% commission. This is an industry-standard. A select group of creators from the US will be eligible for a sign-up bonus when they enroll in IGTV’s ad program.

Creators may be eligible to receive “Bonuses” in return for posting Reels.

It is what it is: Instagram will pay creators to post Reels. Instagram will offer a “Reels Summer bonus program” to reward creators for reaching certain milestones, similar to the “Bonuses” feature for Badges. Instagram started testing the feature internally in 2021. It will eventually invite US creators into the program.

How much (and how little) creators make: Reels’ performance will determine how much a creator makes. For posting Reels and reaching 200,000 viewers, eligible creators can earn as much as $500

Instagram allows creators to open a shop and sell merchandise.

It is what it is: Instagram added shopping features to creator accounts last year. This allowed influencers to sell their merchandise or create collections. Instagram announced that it is making it easier for creators to open shops and link business accounts with their main accounts. Creators will promote product drops via Instagram later this year if they link their accounts to merchandise companies such as Bravado or Fanjoy, Spring, and Represent.

How much (and how little) creators make: Influencers who sell their products can make money depending on how they run their businesses.

A handful of celebrities on social media funded Instagram’s first video series.

It is what it is: Instagram funds the production costs of several video projects for a few creators it has scouted. This includes the “Sway Life” series on IGTV, a gossip-filled series from TikTok’s famous (and infamously infamous) Sway Boys. Instagram told insiders that it would fund two other influencer collab house projects.

How much (and how little) creators make: Instagram didn’t say how much it was giving out to these creators, but the platform was funding production costs for several IGTV shows.

Creators can earn money by tagging products through Instagram-native affiliate links.

Instagram is developing a tool that allows creators to earn commissions from products they tag using Instagram-native affiliate links. The device will be tested in the US by a select group of creators, including Benefit, MAC, and Sephora. Third-party affiliate links are already used by Influencers and included in Stories and bios. How much (and how little) creators make: Instagram will allow brands to determine their commission rates. Commission rates can vary, and brands will be able to adjust them according to Instagram. The sales that influencers drive will determine how much they earn, just like other affiliate models.

Instagram is interested in participating in transactions between creators and brands through a marketplace.

It is what it is: Instagram is establishing its marketplace to sponsor brands. Creators rely on brand deals as their primary source of income. TikTok launched its Creator Marketplace in the last quarter of 2019, while Snapchat announced in May that it was working on something similar.

How much (and how little) creators make: These brand deals would make money for influencers, but it is unclear if Instagram would get a cut with an agency fee (as most influencer-marketing agencies do).

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Krishna Chaitanya
Krishna is a digital media strategist with experience in the media and publishing industries, He is also the lead marketing strategist for Hustle Chronicle. He is currently employed at Intentify Media & resides in India.

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