- Instagram is ending its native affiliate-marketing program.
- The tech platform has been testing the program with some influencers for more than a year.
- The program let influencers earn a commission from sales driven through 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 from sales driven via tagged products on Instagram posts.
For creators like Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, a lifestyle and fashion micro influencer with 64,000 followers, the affiliate program provided another stream of income as a full-time creator.
The affiliate program, which was in its alpha phase of testing, will come to an end on August 31, according to documentation viewed by Insider. Creators will be able to continue earning commission on posts through the end of August.
This isn’t the first monetization test that Instagram has made changes to recently. Last month, Instagram sunset multiple incentives that paid some creators hundreds of dollars for affiliate posts. Over the past year, several bonus programs, which pay creators for meeting certain benchmarks, have either drastically changed (in the case of the Reels Play Bonus) or have been retired.
While the affiliate program had been generating money for some creators with access to it, two sources told Insider that the announcement doesn’t come as a surprise since the program had glitches and limitations.
“It’s a shame, it could’ve been a really great opportunity,” one influencer-talent manager, told Insider.
Nonetheless, the change in direction has been frustrating for some in the creator community.
“There was a lot of resources put into the affiliate program, including support, training, and best practices, and then all of a sudden a quick shift on recommending the use of the feature, and a focus on Creator Marketplace,” another influencer-talent manager wrote to Insider. “Needless to say, it’s been a bit confusing to follow along on what we should be relating to our creators.”
The influencers and managers requested anonymity in order to speak freely about the matter, but their identities are known to Insider.
Currently, Instagram has its eyes set on other new tools. For instance, 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 earn a living by partnering with brands,” a spokesperson for Meta told Insider in an email. “To do this, we are focusing on Instagram’s Creator Marketplace a singular destination where brands and creators can more easily build content partnerships and ending the current test of Instagram onsite affiliate.”