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If you thought that Instagram was already fully optimizing their platform for social media creators, then wait until you hear their newest updates. With over 1 billion active monthly users, the platform must be doing something right! Instagram updates are happening all the time. Keep reading to discover the most recent features that are supporting creators on the platform.

Instagram and creators

As the social media and influencer industry has boomed, there have become many ways for creators to earn, whether through content, brand collaborations, partnerships, or directly from their followers. As these creators are putting all of their efforts towards building their careers online, Instagram is doing everything they can to support them.

From the introduction of Instagram Shopping, to the endless possibilities of brand and influencer partnerships on the platform, Instagram is always providing new ways for creators to make a living.  

Earlier this month, Instagram hosted a three-day virtual event dedicated to creators. Instagram Creator Week 2021 took place from 8th-10th June, being invite-only, primarily for US-based creators. The event held many interesting sessions and workshops, some of which were then made available to the public.

Instagram influencer promotional post

Affiliate Feature

Instagram is currently rolling out a new addition to the platform, the Affiliate Feature. Instagram influencers are already working with brands on the platform, sharing their favorite products with their followers. They give top reviews, opinions, and product recommendations out to their loyal follower base, typically in exchange for payment or products from the brand.

Over the last year, Instagram has been trialing the ability for influencers to tag branded products directly from the company’s own Instagram product catalog. It must have been a success because as of this month, influencers across the world can now make use of this feature.  

The new affiliate feature works alongside this and will be trialed with select brands and influencers over the coming months. This feature allows influencers to work with brands that have an Instagram Shop, sharing these products, and earning a commission on sales right from the Instagram app.

It will be fairly easy to spot an affiliate post. Just look at the top of the post for the label “eligible for commission”. This shows you that the influencer will be earning a commission directly from your purchase.

When you have been a loyal fan of a creator for a while, or have maybe just discovered your new favorite influencer, you’ll likely want to support them in any way that you can. So, next time you’re thinking about making that purchase, remember to check if you can support any creators whilst doing so!

Instagram update of affiliate feature.

New Shop

From the beginning of June, influencers with their own brands or product lines have been able to link their online shop to both their business and personal profiles on Instagram. This move has been able to help creators to more easily sell their products directly to their fans, by providing access straight from their personal accounts.

Previously, creators would have needed to link their business profile, to redirect their audience from their page. Although there may have been no issue with this, the new shop feature makes it much more accessible for followers, with no need to be redirected, which can sometimes be frustrating for people.

With the opportunity for influencers to link their account with one of Instagram’s four merchandise partners: Bravado/UMG, Fanjoy, Represent, or Spring, influencers can release their own merchandise and have exciting product launches directly on Instagram. This is currently being trialed amongst US creators throughout the rest of the year.

Badges and Stars

You may have noticed Badges and Stars before, on Instagram and Facebook Live. If you don’t know how they work, then don’t worry. Basically, badges are available on Live streaming, for viewers to purchase and support influencers during their stream. By purchasing a badge, viewers can leave comments that will be highlighted to the influencer during the stream, standing out from the large audience connected.

Instagram has been trialing the ability to purchase multiple badges, experimenting with how this can help to better support creators. Now, influencers will be able to earn from these badges when they meet a certain number that has been purchased within a stream.

On Facebook Live, Stars Challenges has been launched. Creators can also earn here, when a certain milestone has been met with Stars, for example by streaming for a certain number of hours.

To learn more about badges and stars, Instagram has put together some Badge information on their support page.  

Instagram update of badges and stars


The efforts that Instagram is making to support the growth of its creators are clear. Even when we can’t necessarily see it, the platform is constantly working on new features and updates to better the platform for all of its users.

Remember, if you are wanting to find influencers on Instagram, then Heepsy is the place to get started. Why don’t you check out our tips about how to find someone on Instagram, too!