Instagram to Create Marketplace for Influencers’ Brand Deals

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Facebook Inc.’s Instagram is creating a marketplace so brands can connect with influencers they may want to pay to promote their products.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced the new marketplace Tuesday in a live video on Instagram. “Branded content is the economic engine behind the creator ecosystem,” Mosseri said. “Matchmaking is something we can add a lot of value for.”

The company hasn’t yet released further details on how the marketplace will work. It’s part of a suite of new initiatives to try to help people make money on Instagram, the photo and video-sharing app, through divvying up revenue for videos, tipping and other means. Instagram prioritized such moves during the coronavirus pandemic, when people were turning to the app as an alternative to in-person entertainment and business.

Instagram for many years avoided getting directly involved in brand partnerships with creators, fearing the app would become too commercial. Instead, the deals have flourished informally. People with a high following often get asked by brands to promote products to their fans, either via email or Instagram direct messages. That has resulted in an opaque system, where the prices paid for the same kind of promoted posts vary greatly, Mosseri said.

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