Instagram to Allow Influencers Sell Items Directly, Testing Way to Hide Number of Likes

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Instagram To Allow Influencers Sell Items Directly, Testing Way to Hide Number of Likes

Instagram has stepped up its checkout feature for shopping on the platform as it will now allow influencers sell directly to followers on the platform.

Instagram To Allow Influencers Sell Items Directly, Testing Way to Hide Number of Likes

The Instagram checkout feature was originally introduced in March 2019. At the time, Instagram announced that the feature was only available to brands and allowed only 20 brands to tryout the feature.

But now, Instagram is making the feature available for influencers. The Facebook company announced this yesterday at the ongoing F8 conference in San Francisco.

Instagram To Allow Influencers Sell Items Directly, Testing Way to Hide Number of Likes
Instagram has a lot of Nigerian influencers. Broda Shaggi is one of them

With this, creators and influencers will be able to tag items and sell them directly to people who view their posts or Stories. Influencers will also be able to gain additional shopping insights into their posts and how well people engage them.

For now though, this feature is only available for items tagged from the 20 brands participating in the checkout beta program.

Instagram has selected a small group of American influencers to try out the feature. The influences include stars like Aimee Song, Gigi Hadid, Kathleen Lights and Yovanna Ventura as well as crossover stars like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian.

Also part of the initial round are a few media brands, including GQ, Refinery29, HypeBeast and Vogue, as well as the not really Insta-famous Warbie Parker CEO Neil Blumenthal.

Influencers won’t make any money when their promoted items are purchased by users. This is quite interesting. But Instagram says opening up the checkout feature is not to allow influencers earn more money, but rather to free them from users who constantly ask “where to buy” products they see on an influencer’s page.

Moreover allowing for commissions on checkouts would definitely have transformed Instagram into a full-ecommerce platform.

Already over 25 million businesses are using Instagram. But until this year, Instagram did not support much ecommerce features. However, since March 2019, the company has signaled it wants more transactions on the platform.

When the checkout feature goes live for influencers all over the world, the impact would be huge, not just for Instagram, but for users as well.

Instagram Wants To Hide The Number of Likes Posts Get

In another interesting development, Instagram has announced it is testing a system of hiding the number of likes posts get.

Instagram To Allow Influencers Sell Items Directly, Testing Way to Hide Number of Likes
In this screenshot of an Instagram beta, the number of likes is replaced with “others”

Likes are a really huge part of not only Instagram but social media in general. But unfortunately, the social feature is an easy cause of depression and distraction among many people. For years, people have put too much efforts into getting new likes for their posts. And many equally get drawn and influenced by posts with high numbers of likes.

Instagram wants to reduce this concern amongst users.

“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” the company says.

In light of this, the company has announced a beta in Canada that removes the number of likes for photos and videos. Only the person who posted a content will see the number of likes it gets. The aim is to increase more quality engagements on the platform

If proven successful, the idea could be ported to other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, Instagram has not issued a timeline for global rollout.


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