Amazon is expanding its efforts to woo high-profile personalities across the social media landscape. The retailer has announced that its seven-month-old Influencer Program, which offers commissions and vanity URLs to creators who link to Amazon product pages, is now open to Instagram and Twitter users in addition to those on YouTube.
Unlike Amazon’s Affiliate Program, which is open to creators of all stripes, the Influencer Program is specifically targeted at social media stars with large followings. Applicants who are accepted into it gain access to a vanity Amazon URL on which they can sell the items they reference in their posts, and they are eligible for a commission on all purchases routed through that landing page. At the Web Summit conference, YouTube star Dan Markham said that one of his videos led to more than $160,000 in Amazon sales revenue, of which he received an 8% cut.
Now, Instagram and Twitter stars will gain those same privileges. In particular, the integration of the former platform is a big win for Amazon, since Instagram is a popular choice for branded content. A recent study said the Facebook-owned platform will account for a $2.4 billion influencer marketing business by 2019. At the same time, the FTC has criticized some Instagram creators for failing to properly disclose branded posts.
For that latter group, the Amazon Influencer Program can be a useful tool, since it does not count as a sponsorship. “Promoting authenticity is important to us and to our program,” said Amazon exec Navid Hadzaad. “You don’t have to have an affiliation with a brand to be able to promote a product and monetize it. You can actually showcase your favorite products.”
Applications for the Amazon Influencer Program can be found on the initiative’s homepage.