Instagram onsite affiliate sinks while industry soars

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Written by Brook Schaaf

Instagram announced a shutdown of its “test of Instagram onsite affiliate” after a little over a year. Why? The article cited usage difficulties, but my guess is that they simply didn’t have enough merchants.

As noted at the time, this was not a traditional affiliate arrangement. Rather, Instagram played the role of publishing platform, tracking platform, and merchant of record, with the creator acting like a sub-affiliate. Publishing and tracking probably aren’t a technical feat for Meta, but you have to have merchants who have to be integrated, which is a heavy lift.

Creators can already use tools like to link to Amazon and other merchants off the platform, so only Instagram is losing out here. For the rest of us, it’s nice to see a bit more of the internet NOT be walled off.

An interesting contrast: the Performance Marketing Association released its long-awaited 2022 industry survey, citing $9.1 billion in 2021 spending in the United States, a compounded growth rate of 13.7% since 2018. Good news for affiliate marketing!

FMTC is proud to count among its subscribers all three of the top categories in spend: 1) cashback, loyalty, and rewards (35% of spend); 2) coupons, vouchers, and rebates (16%); and 3) content and subnetworks (15/12%).

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