Instagram has unveiled plans to introduce monkey-making features for users who create content on its platform.
The social media network aims to support creators by helping them turn their passions into livelihoods through two monetisation tools – Badges for Instagram Live and ads in IGTV. It is hoped that the features will allow content creators to earn money and grow their businesses.
Instagram said it had noticed how supportive fans have been of their favourite creators during the COVID-19 crisis. This, the company said, inspired it to give fans the ability to continue their participation in a creator’s daily life by purchasing ‘badges’ during live videos.
Along with comments, likes and donations, badges will appear next to a person’s name and will be visible to other users when they, for example, comment on creator’s video.
In a blog post, Instagram said: “In recent months, we’ve seen creators embrace Live in new ways, leading to a 70% increase in views from February to March. From fitness instructors, artists to chefs, Live has helped creators and businesses stay connected to their followers and bring people together.”
Badges are said to unlock some exclusive features, such as a purchaser being more visible to creators in the comments section and belonging to their badge holders list.
Badge holders will also have access to a special heart emoji that will appear throughout live videos and be attached to their user name. The testing of the badges will begin in June with a small group of creators and businesses.
Over time, Instagram said the feature will be expanded across the UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Turkey and the US.
Instagram content creator and fitness instructor, Charlee Atkins, said: “Badges in Instagram couldn’t have come at a better time for fitness creators like me. It’s an easy way to channel the love we already see in our Live feeds so we can continue building and creating for our fans.”
The second feature being introduced is IGTV Ads, which will focus on long-form videos. Instagram wants to share advertising revenue with creators using IGTV, as the investment of creators in this form of content grows. Adverts will be 15 seconds long and designed for mobile. Instagram will experiment with adverts on IGTV to determine the most beneficial format for followers, creators and advertisers.
Instagram said: “IGTV has become a powerful place for creators to connect more deeply with their fans, pilot new projects and share their lives and talents. With IGTV Ads, they have another new way to earn money from the content they work so hard to produce.”
This feature will also be tested on a small group of creators first to improve its performance. Instagram is yet to determine whether it will include a ‘skip ad’ option.
Along with these two new features, creators can now brand their content using Live Shopping, which enables them to tag their merchandise in live videos.
Instagram said: “We are also expanding access to Brand Collabs Manager, which helps creators find potential brand partners.”