Instagram shutters its native affiliate program, but interest in partnerships remains strong | Sponsored Content

This sponsored article was contributed by Partnerize.

Instagram recently ended its native affiliate marketing program. When the program was first introduced back in June 2021, it was billed as one of many in Meta’s latest lineup of features for content creators. The sudden move to sunset the fledgling opportunity translates to a conflicting change of course for Instagram, whose parent company is investing heavily in user-generated content on its social media platforms and in the metaverse. What makes this all the more interesting is that Instagram’s new creator marketplace, where brands can discover and connect with creators, only recently launched on an invite-only basis.

On the heels of Instagram’s announcement, Reuters reported that Walmart filed trademarks for “Walmart Creator” and “Walmart Creator Collective,” further hinting at the possibility of Walmart launching an in-house platform to support influencers and offer consulting to its third-party sellers, which number more than 100,000.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Instagram’s sudden decision is that it appears Meta is scaling back from affiliate dealings on Instagram. However, that doesn’t mean you should pull back on your affiliate or partnership strategy, whether you’re a creator, an affiliate, or an advertiser.

To the contrary, according to the Performance Marketing Association’s 2022 Performance Marketing Industry Study, the affiliate and partnership channel continues to grow, even after the retail highs of the pandemic. According to the association’s research, affiliate marketing investment reached $9.1 billion in 2021, a 47% increase in spending compared to 2018. The study also indicated that affiliate marketing investment in 2021 drove $71 billion in ecommerce sales and boasted an impressive 12-to-1 return on ad spend. But there’s more to the content creators’ efficacy story, according to the Partnerize platform’s data.

Specifically, for the time period that the Performance Marketing Association study examined, the Partnerize platform observed content partners consistently contributing above a 45% total commission share—the highest of all partner categories. In May 2022 alone, Partnerize’s content partners’ gross revenue growth rate was up 36% over the same month the prior year, while their share of spend stood at 47%. And as of May, revenue share from new customers for content publishers on the Partnerize platform is at 54%—higher than coupon, loyalty, and cashback.

The data performance supports that content creators—and the brands they support—are winning with the right expertise and platform. Want to learn more? Download Partnerize’s ebook, “13 Ways to Accelerate Influencer Growth With Partnerize,” here.

—Charlie Calabrese, Vice President, Operations, Partnerize