The Future of Rev Share: Instagram Tests IGTV Ads so Creators Can Monetize Videos

Kelsey Formost

11 Feb 2020 · 2 min read

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Earlier this week, Instagram confirmed it has prototyped a Partner Program that will allow creators to monetize their long-form IGTV video content. This comes on the heels of an announcement that the social media giant will also be introducing the ability to send direct messages via their desktop app. These major platform updates are causing many to hypothesize that Instagram is well on its way to following in the footsteps of its parent company, Facebook, and will be generating more revenue than ever in the very near future.

With Instagram now running ads in user's feeds, Explore tab, and Stories, only IGTV and Direct Message remain the major features lacking monetization.

IGTV, Instagram’s long-form video platform-within-a-platform, has long been trying to encourage creators to post high-quality content via Instagram rather than diverting traffic to its longer-running contemporaries, YouTube and Facebook Watch. The new Instagram Partner Program gives creators an increased incentive to post on IGTV, allowing them to earn money by showing advertisements in short “ad breaks” in their videos.

This is an exciting new opportunity to earn passive income, and influencers are taking notice.

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What does monetizing IGTV look like?

No surprise here; according to a few publicly-released screenshots, IGTV’s partner program will operate much like Facebook’s. Users who are deemed eligible by the platform will have the opportunity to choose to “monetize your IGTV videos”. Facebook's Rules for Monetization state, among other things, that in order to be eligible for monetization creators must publish only original content, abide by community guidelines, and avoid violations.

Facebook Watch, Facebook’s equivalent of IGTV, splits ad revenue with its creators. Producers of Facebook Watch content currently earn 55% of ad revenue, with the majority of earnings go to creators themselves.

Since Facebook owns Instagram, it would be a natural conclusion that their partner programs would look alike, if not be exactly the same.

What’s perhaps most important to note here is that this would be the first step in monetizing the Instagram platform itself. Previously, to earn on Instagram one needed to secure third-party brand partnerships. Now, Instagram itself would be the source of creators’ income.

When will IGTV’s Partner Program be available?

The short answer is: no one really knows the answer yet. However, we can be sure it’s definitely happening.

In response to the leaked screenshots of the IGTV partner program, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri tweeted, “It’s no secret that we’ve been exploring this. We focused first on making sure the product had legs — else there would be little to monetize in the first place. IGTV is still in its early days, but it’s growing and so we’re exploring more ways to make it sustainable for creators.”

While nothing is for sure, most marketers are predicting this update will go public within the next few months.

The Future of Rev Share & Influencer Marketing

The truth is, all the major social platforms have been testing a multitude of new ways for influencers to earn money. Whether it’s monetized videos, ad revenue splits, brand sponsorships, subscriptions to exclusive content, or even tipping, it’s clear that influencers respond to an opportunity to generate income.

Monetization allows social platform users the chance to go from simple sharing of content, to full-on professional creator. If influencers are allowed to share in revenue generated from their posts, they will then be able to re-invest into creating more, higher-quality content. That, in turn, will cause more viewers to tune in, growing influencer marketing into an even bigger and better industry than ever before.

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