June 29, 2022

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Instagram cuts influencer payments for short videos

2 min read

Instagram has cut the amount it pays to makers of short videos, as the Meta-owned business adapts its strategy towards so-called influencers while under fierce competition from TikTok.

The invite-only scheme, which is available to some Instagram users in the US, pays a rate based on the views received on clips called “Reels”.

Instagram introduced the programme last year, partly in response to the popularity of TikTok, the short-form video app that Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has blamed for stealing attention from its social media apps including Facebook.

Under the Reels system, influencers are given personalised payouts with specific targets for views, with money capped at a maximum fee per month.

Several creators told the Financial Times that payments for Reels have been down for the past few weeks by as much as 70 per cent per view, and the threshold for getting paid is more than 10 times higher. One user who could be paid a maximum of $35,000 said their personal target for views jumped from 58mn to 359mn.

Influencers have not been given reasons for the revised payouts and the move comes despite the company publicly saying it was increasingly focused on video.

“Video is driving an immense amount of growth online for all the major platforms right now, and it’s one that I think we need to lean into more,” said Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, in June last year. “We are no longer a photo-sharing app.”

Ed East, chief executive of creative agency Billion Dollar Boy, which makes advertising for brands on social media, said that Instagram had tended to pay more than TikTok.

“Creators have had mixed experiences with these programmes, and there’s uncertainty around potential earnings due to a lack of transparency and information regarding payout calculations,” he added.

Creators also said they had seen engagement — the number of views, likes, shares and comments — on Reels drop on Instagram in the past month, with its algorithm…

2022-04-05 13:43:40

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