Instagram shuts down native affiliate marketing program for creators

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  • Instagram is ending its native affiliate marketing program.
  • The tech platform has been testing the program with a few influencers for over a year.
  • The program allows influencers to earn a commission on sales generated by tagged products.

After a year of testing, Instagram is shutting down its native affiliate marketing program on August 31.

The program, which was introduced as part of Meta’s buffet of monetization tools for content creators last June, allowed influencers to earn a commission on sales generated through tagged products on Instagram posts.

For creators like Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, a lifestyle and fashion micro-influencer with 64,000 followers, the affiliate program has provided another source of income as a full-time creator.

The affiliate program, which was in its alpha testing phase, will end on August 31, according to documentation seen by Insider. Creators will be able to continue earning commissions on posts until the end of August.

This isn’t the first monetization test that Instagram has recently made changes to. Last month, Instagram ended several incentives that paid some creators hundreds of dollars for affiliate posts. Over the past year, several bonus programs, which reward creators for meeting certain criteria, have either changed drastically (in the case of Reels Play Bonus) or been retired.

While the affiliate program generated money for some creators who had access to it, two sources told Insider the announcement came as no surprise since the program had issues and limitations.

“It’s a shame, it could have been a really great opportunity,” an influencer manager told Insider.

Still, the change in leadership has been frustrating for some in the creator community.

“There were a lot of resources put into the affiliate program, including support, training, and best practices, and then all of a sudden a quick shift to recommending the use of the feature and focusing on Creator Marketplace,” said another influencer. talent manager wrote to Insider. “Needless to say, it’s been a little confusing to keep track of what we should be telling our creators.”

The influencers and managers requested anonymity in order to speak freely on the subject, but their identities are known to Insider.

Instagram's Creator Market

Instagram unveiled its “Creator Marketplace” this month.

instagram



Currently, Instagram has its sights set on other new tools. For example, the platform recently unveiled its Creator Marketplace, which will connect brands and creators for sponsorships, similar to TikTok’s Creator Marketplace.

“We want to make Instagram the best place for creators to make a living by partnering with brands,” a Meta spokesperson told Insider in an email. “To do this, we’re focusing on Instagram’s Creator Marketplace — a singular destination where brands and creators can more easily establish content partnerships — and ending Instagram’s current on-site affiliate test. “

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