Instagram’s affiliate shops — announced in October as a small pilot for a handful of participants — is apparently going so well that the company expanded the test: On Monday, the company announced it has partnered with fashion and beauty creators to launch shops in time for the holidays.
As its name implies, Shops for Affiliate Creators acts like a more robust version of affiliate linking, which rewards people who refer online sales. While Instagram’s flagship Shops feature is geared for brands and retailers, the affiliate version does not require the account holder to carry their own merchandise. In essence, anyone can launch a store of curated picks sold by other merchants, feature the collections on their profiles and earn money off of the transactions.
That’s the idea, though it’s still in a limited testing phase, so few people can actually launch one yet. But things seem to be moving along, with Instagram adding more test subjects into the group.
According to the company, it partnered with fashion and beauty creators Blair Eadie (@blaireadiebee), Jean Wang (@jeanwang), Blake Gifford (@signedblake) and Wendy Nguyen (@wendyslookbook) to create shops for their top holiday picks.
These influencers can add to their assortment by tagging products and their Shop collections in Feed and Stories, as well as by using a new “Shop Creators” stories sticker. Fans can shop their profiles and see their recommendations via collections by tapping the “View Shop” button.
With Instagram’s steady release of social commerce features, it may not be long before Affiliate Shops gets ready for its official debut — especially if a successful holiday test gives the company something to celebrate.