Advertisement Turns Instagram Content Into Revenue

Since being acquired by Facebook in 2013, Instagram has experienced consistent and significant growth. Now with more than 300 million users, Instagram has become a key social network for brands and consumers to share content.

Retail startup RewardStyle realized Instagram’s growth potential and, in turn, launched, a service that allows consumers to receive ready-to-shop product links via email after they like a post. Currently, more than 850,000 shoppers opt in to receive’s emails, and the service has driven up to $25 million in sales.

“ strived to create a cross­platform service that compliments the existing social product offering and is mindful to not disrupt the existing user flow,” said Baxter Box, CEO and Co-Founder of RewardStyle and When initially launched, it was a service exclusively for digital style publishers to “deliver exact product details to their followers’ email inboxes — providing a seamless path to discover andpurchase on Instagram.” In fact, it has become a very popular tool for fashion bloggers, such as The Chriselle Factor, Song of Style and GalMeetsGlam.


But in May 2015, expanded the technology to enable 30 global retailersacross six major markets to provide the same high level of service to followers. Now, these retailers can tap their highly engaged Instagram audience and provide followers with the product information they need to make a purchase decision.

“Retailers should look at as content marketing with a retargeting element,” Box said. “Users have specifically identified an interest in the products shown and requested to receive follow­up information about those products.” has been so successful because it provides a “quad-win scenario,” according to Box. Consumers have access to a free service that connects them to desirable products, while brands benefit from organic promotion and endorsement from top content creators. Conversely, content creators are able to add value to their content and receive compensation for purchase referrals. In the end, Instagram benefits because it is encouraging top publishers to create high-quality and actionable content more frequently, which leads to a boost in user engagement. uses DataStax Enterprise as the backend for several new services that power the retail edition of its service.

“Specifically, our new product catalogue utilizes DataStax Enterprise and its SOLR enterprise search integration to provide real­time updating and searching of our retailer’s inventories,” explained Forrest Jordan, Chief Architect at RewardStyle. “In addition, DataStax Enterprise powersour new link­shortening service, analytics storage and processing.”

Implementing DataStax Enterprise was “very straightforward,” Jordan noted. The company’s consultants were available to answer any questions regarding data modeling and tuning all available settings of the deployment.

“The results have been extremely positive so far,” Jordan said. “The tunable consistency, replication and horizontal scalability have allowed us to build high-performing and scalable products for our customers all over the world.”


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