Instagram Finally Has Direct Shopping Links; Bloggers Won’t Use Them Anytime Soon


Unless, of course, it's to shop. Or, if you have $200,000 lying around to spend on Instagram advertising. The Facebook-owned, photo-sharing platform is rolling out direct shopping capabilities extremely cautiously, and part of that strategy is to keep the price of direct-link ads expensive—so expensive as to be prohibitive to many companies, let alone independent fashion bloggers.

According to Ad-Week, $200,000 is just the entry fee for buying Instagram ads. Banana Republic was one of the first to take advantage of Instagram's new shopping capabilities with carousel ads earlier this month, and told AdWeek it plans to use more marketing tools Instagram has on the horizon. But don't expect to be overrun with Insta-ads anytime soon:

… because these changes would signal a fundamental change to how marketers use and customers experience the platform, Instagram is proceeding with caution, no doubt wary of displeasing its growing user base (now upwards of 300 million).

Clearly Instagram has no interest in creating an affiliate link mill for bloggers, which would certainly annoy users. All this activity on Instagram might, however, mean more money for blogger collaborations with brands on the platform. Just last week, Ahn of 9to5 Chic modeled a pair of Banana Republic shoes as part of a #theNewBR campaign.

Happy feet. @9to5chic took these for a test run, they're cute *and* comfy.

A photo posted by Banana Republic (@bananarepublic) on

And Aimee Song wore four outfits, including a “warm weather getup.”

We see your warm weather getup, @songofstyle and we like it. #thenewBR

A photo posted by Banana Republic (@bananarepublic) on

We hope they were paid handsomely.

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8 Responses

  1. Gisella Walter

    Well, it was bound to happen eventually.

    We are way ahead of Instagram. We launched Glamhive in January. On Glamhive everyone earns. The posters earn cash or points when someone shops their look. The shoppers earn points when they shop a look through us. No one else is doing this. Points accrue and are redeemed through us for gift cards to your favorite retailer. We are unique in that we benefit both sides of the equation, EVERYONE participates. Go ahead and repost your Instagram pictures on Glamhive and tell your followers about it, because they get something for shopping your looks through us.

    Please check it and let me know what you think, I’m the co-founder.

    • Melody Sours

      What a cool concept! I’ve just signed up and am having fun navigating through the App. Let me know if you’re looking to collaborate with bloggers. I’d love to help spread the word!


  2. Donna

    I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t want to see obvious ads, but I wouldn’t mind a link in a hashtag. Sadly the only ones who will be able to use this new feature are the large companies. I hope that they don’t abuse it.

  3. Amy

    Great article. Should definitely check out tagspire as well. It’s a new online community that empowers bloggers (and anyone) to share the products they love and directly monetize personal content. It includes post share capability and blog embed so that your blog can also become visually shoppable as well. Happy to answer any questions, hear feedback from you all, and/or collaborate!

  4. Kristyn

    This is kind of exciting for an aspiring blogger like me. My blog is technically lifestyle-themed as it is an outlet for my experience being in a band, but I have been considering adding a fashion feature of what I wear to events. This whole sponsorship thing is pretty motivating to look deeper into my idea.

  5. Aria

    Not so sure how I feel about this. No one wants to see obvious in your face spammy ads and the only people who can use them are corporations.

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