- Instagram announced Wednesday it was rolling out ads to creators’ longform IGTV videos, allowing them to monetize these.
- Bloomberg reported Instagram will share with creators 55% of the ad revenue they generate — the same amount YouTube offers with its ad revenue-sharing model.
- This is the first time Instagram is offering creators and influencers a way to profit directly off their videos, a move that may help it compete with video content on YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.
Instagram announced Wednesday it was rolling out advertisements to IGTV, the feature through which creators can produce long-form videos on the app. The platform is instituting a revenue-sharing model, already long used by YouTube, that gives creators a portion of the money generated off the ads on their videos. Instagram is also mimicking that revenue breakdown: 55% to creators, Bloomberg reports.
In addition to testing IGTV ads, Instagram is also adding the ability for users to gift creators “badges” — akin to a monetary tip — during Instagram Live videos. This sort of feature has previously been available to users on platforms like Twitch.
The introduction of a way for influencers to profit directly off of Instagram content — instead of doing so through third-party brand partnerships and sponsored posts — may be part of the Facebook-owned platform’s efforts to incentivize creators to stay, rather than leave Instagram for platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Though Instagram’s bread-and-butter has historically been the posting and sharing of photos, it seems the platform is amping up the pressure to make its video feature appealing to influencers.
Although Instagram Live has seen a dramatic 70% increase in use since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, IGTV has not seen such popularity. Since IGTV first launched in 2018 as a vertical video platform, it hasn’t caught on nearly as well as Instagram may have hoped. In the 18 months following its June 2018 launch, less than 1% of Instagram’s users downloaded the standalone IGTV app. Instagram also removed the orange button for the IGTV portal from its app in January after seeing lackluster interest.
IGTV hasn’t been too popular with influencers thus far, and has been usurped by the popularity of vertical videos on TikTok. But Instagram’s sharing of its ad revenue — which was around $20 billion in 2019 — may help to resurge creators’ interest in the platform.
These two money-making changes will start rolling out the first week in June to “a small group of creators and advertisers” in the US. Instagram didn’t provide an explicit timeline for when the features will roll out to all creators, but said in the blog it would “slowly” expand access.
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