By Kelsey Formost, Director if Content Strategy for Tagger
Instagram recently confirmed that it has prototyped an Instagram Partner Program that will allow creators to monetise their long-form IGTV video content. This comes on the heels of an announcement that the social media giant will also be introducing the ability to send direct messages via their desktop platform. These major updates are causing many to hypothesize that Instagram is well on its way to following in the footsteps of its parent platform, Facebook.
Besides, with Instagram now running ads in feed, Explore, and Stories, only IGTV and Direct Message remain the major features lacking monetization.
IGTV, Instagram’s long-form video platform-within-a-platform, has long been trying to encourage creators to post high-quality content via Instagram rather than sending traffic away to its longer-running contemporaries, YouTube and Facebook Watch. The new Instagram Partner Program gives creators incentive to post on IGTV, allowing them to earn money by showing advertisements in short “ad breaks” in their videos.
This is an exciting new opportunity to earn passive income, and influencers are taking notice.
What does monetising IGTV look like?
No surprise here; according to a few publicly-released screenshots, IGTV’s partner program will operate much like Facebook’s. Users who are deemed eligible by the platform will have the opportunity to choose to “monetise your IGTV videos”.
Facebook Watch, Facebook’s equivalent of IGTV, splits ad revenue with its creators. Producers of Facebook watch content currently earn 55% of ad revenue (ergo, the platform can boast that the majority of earnings go to creators themselves).
What’s perhaps most important to note here is that this would be the first step in monetizing the Instagram platform itself. Previously, to earn on Instagram one needed to secure third-party brand partnerships. Now, Instagram itself would be the source of creators’ income.
When will IGTV’s Partner Program be available?
No one really knows the answer yet. However, we can be sure it’s definitely happening.
In response to the leaked screenshots of the IGTV partner program, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri tweeted, “It’s no secret that we’ve been exploring this. We focused first on making sure the product had legs — else there would be little to monetise in the first place. IGTV is still in its early days, but it’s growing and so we’re exploring more ways to make it sustainable for creators.”
The Future of Rev Share
All the major platforms have been testing a multitude of new ways for influencers to earn money. Whether it’s monetised videos, ad splits, brand sponsorships, subscriptions to exclusive content, or even tipping, it’s clear that influencers respond to an opportunity to generate income.
Monetisation allows social platform users the chance to go from simple sharing of content, to full-on professional creator. If influencers are allowed to share in revenue generated from their content, they will then be able to re-invest into creating more, better content. That, in turn, will cause more viewers to tune in, growing influencer marketing into an even bigger and better industry than ever before.
Some have argued that IGTV’s lack of monetisation was the missing link for creators who weren’t taking advantage of the long-form video sharing option. It will be interesting from our perspective as an influencer marketing platform to see if user numbers increase greatly once this partner program is opened up to the public!
Kelsey Formost is the Director of Content Strategy for the award-winning all-in-one influencer marketing platform and social listening tool, Tagger Media. She is also a copywriting expert and mental health advocate, educating entrepreneurs on how to write words that connect and convert.