Prepare to be inundated with overpriced T-shirts, and private label makeup for sale, Instagram users.
On Tuesday, Instagram announced that starting on July 9, the floodgates will open for businesses, including influencers and creators, who want to sell their merchandise on Instagram.
Basically, the change allows many more users to sign up for Instagram Shopping.
“Any eligible business or creator account with at least one eligible product can use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase,” reads Instagram’s statement.
Are you an influencer who wants to sell your wares on Instagram? Just sign up for Instagram Shopping and await approval. As long as you follow a few simple rules, you should be approved.
The new policy requires Instagram Shopping users to link to a web store under their own domain name. This means users that sell strictly on a third-party ecommerce site like Amazon will not be able to use Instagram Shopping. However, linking to your own website that uses an ecommerce platform like Shopify would qualify.
Upon approval, users can start using shopping tags in their posts, which allow them to sell items within the Instagram app.
“If a business is not approved, we offer a clear reason so they can take the necessary action or appeal,” says Instagram.
Previously, this feature was only open to major brands. Later on, Instagram also rolled some shopping features out to big influencers and publishers like Kylie Jenner and Elle.
So what’s to stop influencers from hawking scammy or even harmful products, like miracle cures or bogus health supplements? After all, Instagram has has had issues with even large accounts spreading coronavirus misinformation and antivaxxer propaganda.
“Trust and safety on Instagram is very important to us, and we have layers of reviews in place to protect our community from low quality commerce,” said an Instagram spokesperson in an email. “Products and services sold on Instagram must comply with our Community Standards as well as the Commerce Policies. We use a variety of signals to detect fraudulent business including user interactions, comments and manual review.”
Some items that are prohibited from being sold on Instagram include medical products and live animals. These are the same rules that its parent company, Facebook, has in place — and hasn’t always been able to enforce.
For example, illegal exotic animal trade has been discovered several times on Facebook. The reality is prohibited items will likely find their way on Instagram as more and more people are approved to sell products.
Either way, prepare for your favorite influencers to fill your feed with products.