The coronavirus pandemic has opened a new gateway for Instagram as it is officially expanding its E-Commerce Eligibility Requirements. It is opening up its shopping experience to smaller businesses, including “creators.” Photographers who have a substantial following could stand to be the initial beneficiaries.
The announcement was made on the business blog of Instagram, where the company gave details on why and how it will be expanding the requirements to allow more creators to sell merchandise through the Instagram app. The blog read as follows:
“Today, we’re announcing new Commerce Eligibility Requirements that expand access to Instagram Shopping to more types of businesses, including creators, so they can connect with shoppers and sell their merchandise on Instagram.
Whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merchandise, or a food blogger expanding into your own cookware line, 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.”
This is great news for photographers who till now used to sell physical products like prints through their own website. Instead of having to point people to a “link in bio,” they will now be able to create a catalog and link products directly from each individual post by “tagging” them as shopping stuff.
Up till now, all major companies and large influencers have been able to sign up for and use Instagram Shopping. However, this expansion will open the pathway to many more creators. The eligibility requirements are not very clear as yet, but one needs to have an Instagram professional account that has “demonstrated trustworthiness,” which includes an “authentic, established presence,” and you may need to “maintain a sufficient follower base.”
Considering that the business is legit, it seems that selling products through Instagram is still limited to physical goods like prints; however, reliable sources confirm on Instagram to see if this might also change.
If these new requirements pave the way for photographers to begin selling services like photoshoots or non-tangible goods like Lightroom presets through this app. This could make the social network’s value enhanced as it could be a potential marketing tool for anyone who has built a large following.
The new policy goes into effect on July 9th for all countries where IG Shopping is available.
For more details, check out the full announcement on the Instagram website or visit the Facebook help center where details of information on policies and eligibility are available.