By Rebecca Heilweil
Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are courting influencers with access to new analytics on their posts and more opportunities to promote sponsored content.
These moves come amid some social platforms' slow transformations from ad-funded, content-sharing sites into e-commerce platforms.
"Instagram's about to become a mall. You're going to be spending so much more money on Instagram. Shopping is already integrated directly into the Explore page. It's very easy to find and shop for products. That's just going to continue to grow," Atlantic staff writer Taylor Lorenz told Cheddar. "I think we'll see other social platforms adopt commerce features."
Instagram had previously allowed brands to make "shoppable posts," which enabled users to buy products directly in the app. In late April, the company announced that influencers, when they use a particular shopping tag in their posts, would gain the same ability.
Influencers won't get a cut of the sales, but they will be able to see a dashboard shared with the brand that sells the product, providing a mechanism to demonstrate the efficacy of their posts to the companies they work with.
"Just having the advanced analytics in a post like that is really valuable," said Lorenz. "It's good that Instagram is allowing influencers themselves to structure these deals."
Instagram has also announced that brands will now be able to sponsor posts from influencers, making those posts visible to people who don't follow those accounts. While that might make some users uncomfortable, Lorenz says that users are "already seeing ads from brands they don't follow, and they're seeing promoted posts on Facebook, so I don't think it's that different."
In recent years, Pinterest has worked to woo influencers.
Last fall, the company revealed an API that helps marketers and brands track insights from influencers' data.
Valuable data such as monthly views, impressions, click-throughs, and the number of times an image is saved are now accessible. Still, Pinterest lags behind its competitors in building in-app shopping.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that Google is considering incorporating shoppable posts into Youtube videos, producing advertising revenues will be split between the video-sharing site and the platform's content creators.