In its latest appeal to creators, Meta has announced a series of new products to help influencers “reach an audience, grow their communities and earn a living.”
Consumer and brand demand for influencer content is strong — 39% of marketing agencies and brands now spend 10% to 20% of their overall marketing budgets on influencer marketing, according to Statista, and that number is only expected to grow. But creators have options — not to mention that it turns out being an influencer is hard work — so all the major social platforms are busily making the case that their site is where creators should be (and therefore where brands should spend their money).
The biggest new way Meta is doing this is by giving creators on Instagram the ability to make and sell their own digital collectibles, a program the platform first announced in May 2022 that it will be rolling out to all creators soon. Meta has built a complete toolkit for the process — from creation (starting on the Polygon blockchain) to showcasing and eventually selling NFTs both on and off of Instagram.
Meta also is expanding the types of digital collectibles that users can showcase on Instagram to include video and adding support for the Solana blockchain and Phantom wallet, in addition to the blockchains and wallets it already supports.
But the selling of NFTs is only the beginning of how Meta hopes to make being a creator more lucrative on its social sites. Other updates include:
- All eligible creators in the U.S. now have access to subscriptions, allowing them to earn predictable income and connect more deeply with their most engaged followers;
- The Stars program — through which creators can earn money by being sent Stars from users (every Star is worth 1 cent) — will soon be automatically enabled on public creator content on Facebook, including Reels, making it easier for fans to discover the feature. The update is currently being tested with a select number of creators globally;
- Creators already using Stars can now host Stars Parties (community challenges that end in a celebration if the creator reaches their goal) in Reels;
- Bringing Stars to non-video public content like photos and text posts; and
- Introducing gifts on Instagram, starting with Reels, so creators have a new way to earn money from fans who love their content. To support their favorite creators, fans can send gifts on Reels by purchasing Stars within Instagram. The new program is being tested first with a small group of U.S. creators.