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Instagram will start paying its influencers

The app has announced several new features, including ads on IGTV, digital badges, and more

What came first: Instagram or the Influencer? For years, people have used the platform to build their brands. But any efforts to monetise this, such as sponsored posts, has happened directly between influencers and external companies – that is, until now.

Yesterday (May 27), Instagram announced that it will allow creators to make money directly on the platform with several new features, including ads on IGTV, digital badges that users can buy via Instagram Live, merchandise sales through Instagram Shopping, and more.

IGTV ads will start showing up next week, and Instagram will split the revenue with at least 55 per cent going to creators. Users will also be able to sponsor creators and businesses using paid “badges” on Instagram Live videos, which will cost either $0.99, $1.99, or $4.99, with all the money going straight to the creator. Users who purchase a badge will show one, two, or three heart icons next to their usernames, depending on how much they paid, which Instagram says will make their comments stand out in the live feed.

The changes mark Instagram’s shift towards platforms like TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube, which have made it easier for their creators to make money. As for how much it will change influencer culture itself, watch this space.