Instagram Rolls Out Invitation-Only Creator Marketplace Test

Facebook’s photo- and video-sharing app Instagram is implementing a creator marketplace test on an invitation-only basis to brands active in the United States. Brands invited to participate in this early phase can use the Meta Business Suite of tools to filter creators by age, gender, interests and number of followers. They’ll also be able to filter based on the demographics of a creator’s engaged audience. Announced last year, the Instagram creator marketplace is designed to facilitate connections between brands and the creators they may find it useful to connect with regarding partnerships and marketing campaigns.

In addition to discovery, the marketplace can be used to create and share campaigns. Brands can use marketplace to exchange information, “such as the desired deliverables and compensation” regarding the campaign, writes TechCrunch, noting “messages sent to creators will appear in a newly created ‘Partnerships Messages inbox.’ Creators can respond to brands and coordinate with them directly within the Instagram app via DMs.”

The limited rollout launches just weeks after Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg began discussing an Instagram marketplace to help creators monetize. “Meta’s take on its marketplace for creators is similar to TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, which is the video app’s in-house influencer marketing platform,” TechCruch says, emphasizing that “Meta’s Creator Marketplace will be part of its continued efforts to take on TikTok.”

In January, Instagram announced testing of a new feature to allow creators to charge for subscriptions to premium content.

The Verge reports that Instagram is now adding to its subscription toolkit, in order to “better compete with Twitter in this area.”

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said in a video post that the company’s goal is to be “the best place online for creators to make a living” and that the new features are in direct response to feedback from creators that have taken part in early subscription tests.

“The most significant new feature is the ability to publish feed posts that are only visible to subscribers,” according to The Verge, which says this was the most-requested addition. Previously creators could only do this with Instagram Stories. Now, for prices ranging from 99 cents to $99.99, Instagram creators can provide access to “exclusive, traditional Instagram feed posts,” The Verge explains.

“Those Reels and photos will have a purple badge with a crown symbol to make them stand out,” according to Engadget, which says the social platform has also added a subscriber chat option. “Influencers can hop into group DMs with up to 30 subscribers, perhaps in an attempt to persuade them to spend more time chatting on Instagram instead of, say, Discord,” Engadget writes.

Instagram’s New Payments Feature Lets Users Buy Products via DMs, TechCrunch, 7/18/22

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