Instagram: finally, financially sound?

Back in March, TechCrunch reported Instagram had seen a 40% increase in traffic due to the pandemic. With everyone at home, more time is being spent on digital platforms, and all social media platforms have been nurturing their growing platform in different ways – but what about content creators on Instagram, and why are there so many articles about the death of the Instagram influencer?

Will the lifestyle survive?

Influencers have overhauled how brands reach consumers – the market was worth $5.9 billion in 2019, with close to half of marketers spending upwards of 20% of their budget on influencer posts. Now, though, with 2020’s impending – or, already in progress – economic downturn, influencers are now fighting to simply survive.

A huge part of the influencer package includes lifestyle imagery – users can vicariously live through people that are being paid to travel to exotic locations while wearing their favourite brands. It’s a bit of class tourism, really, but since tourism is completely shut down… well, you get the idea. Influencers have had to swap their Bali waterfall backdrops for the pictures they took that now hang on their walls.

A new source of revenue

On the other end of the discussion, a restriction on becoming an Instagram creator has been lifted. In the past, there was no direct way to make revenue through Instagram – creators, influencers and other users had to rely on indirect sources such as brand sponsorship and merchandise. Now, with that source essentially drying up, it’s a good time for Instagram to step in and offer new tools.

Starting next month, Instagram is adding the ability for users to purchase “badges” during Instagram Live videos. It’s a similar feature to Twitter’s Cheer animated Emoji, with the badges priced in three different tiers (99 cents, $1.99 and $4.99). All revenue is, currently, to be shared with the creator.

Next, and perhaps most importantly, Instagram will allow ads on IGTV – sharing at least 55% of ad revenue with the creator. Brands will initially be the ones to trial this feature, but when it expands to other creators, we can expect a new wave of content that has increased focus on creativity over brand revenue.

The future is bright

During the pandemic, Instagram has seen Instagram Live views jump 70% from February to March 2020. That figure alone shows the massive potential for just influencers but other creators to make the leap to new sources of revenue. We cannot wait to see where these lifted restrictions on creativity will lead.

For the latest social media news, check out our latest Social Snapshot – here!

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