Shopping & Monetization on Social Media: How Instagram Plans to Empower Creators

4 min readMay 28, 2021

Instagram is cooking up some interesting concoctions behind closed doors — and the app’s leaders recently gave us a sneak peek at the concepts in progress. Here’s what to expect from Instagram in the near future and what it means for brand/creator relationships moving forward.

#1: Creator Shops

The introduction of in-app purchasing capabilities on Instagram changed the way many eCommerce brands think about the platform. By integrating products from their catalog, their profiles could become a valuable extension of their online stores, allowing IG users to explore what they have to offer without having to click any external links.

Influencers and creators have been mostly left out of this equation-until now, that is. During a live broadcast featuring the Facebook CEO & Overlord himself Mark Zuckerberg and Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, the two social media big-wigs teased the introduction of Creator Shops-a curation-ready shopping page that creators will have the opportunity to add to and customize on their profile.

What It Means For Brands:

With Creator Shops, brands can make their products available to view and purchase on multiple profiles, amplifying the reach of their product pages and expanding the opportunity for more impressions.

What It Means For Creators:

This will be an engaging new way for creators to talk about and share their brand partnerships, as well as the products they’re interested in. There also might be a financial benefit too, which brings me to my next point…

#2: Affiliate Commerce Program

If Instagram creators are currently receiving commission payments from the brand they’re partnered with, it’s a process being done manually outside of Instagram’s reach. But with the introduction of this next new feature on the app, that could change.

The affiliate commerce program currently in the works at Instagram would give creators the opportunity to earn a cut of the sales they’re helping to generate.

The specifics of Mosseri & Zuckerberg’s plan for this program are few and far between — but we’re guessing that, working hand-in-hand with Creator Shops, the affiliate commerce program would compensate creators for in-app purchases exclusively.

What It Means For Brands:

The affiliate commerce program might help streamline the process of reaching partnership agreements with influencers. To us, it looks like the app is essentially inserting itself into the brand/creator relationship as a helpful resource to aid in negotiations and transfers of compensation.

What It Means For Creators:

Get. That. Bag. Creators will more easily be able to earn rewards for their brand partnerships-and hopefully help them feel like a valued collaborator-and give them the motivation needed to keep making engaging content.

#3: Branded Content Marketplace

Earning compensation for branded content and being able to curate new shopping tabs is great and all-but doesn’t mean all that much if relationships between brands and creators aren’t being made in the first place!

Luckily, Mosseri & Zuckerberg are offering a helping hand in that matter as well: Instagram’s new Branded Content Marketplace.

Think of it as the place where brands and creators collide. Brands can identify influencers that match their expectations for content, target audience, and more, and influencers can reach out to brands with products that align with their own interests and values (and the interests and values of their followers).

We’re guessing that the finished product will be similar to what TikTok already has available on their platform (i.e. Creator Marketplace), but we’ll have to wait for more details from the Zuckerberg/Mosseri duo.

What It Means For Brands:

Interested in entering the influencer marketing space? We’re hoping that Instagram’s branded content marketplace will make it easier than ever for brands to identify the right creators to partner with.

What It Means For Creators:

For beginners or smaller creators who might not have a ton of experience navigating brand partnerships, branded content marketplace could be a great place to start.

We’ll Keep You Posted

We don’t have a ton of details now, but we’re trusting Zuckerberg and Mosseri to be in touch with more specifics as they progress further into the development of these promising new features.

Interested in staying in the loop? Give us a follow to stay up-to-date with the latest! When we get more information about these new Instagram capabilities (or exciting new things coming to other platforms), you’ll be the first to know.

Written by Megan O’Keefe | Social Media & Content Specialist at Altos




We are a digital marketing agency specializing in web design and development, eCommerce, search, and social media marketing.