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Brief Published: 25 Jun 2014

Vogue to Monetise Instagram


With Instagram now the fastest-growing social platform in the world (according to market research agency GlobalWebIndex), it's becoming prime virtual-commercial real estate for brands of all kinds.

Tapping into this, the US edition of fashion magazine Vogue has partnered with shopping tool Liketoknow.it. This Instagram-specific sales platform was devised by RewardStyle – an American business that connects publishing brands and bloggers to help them monetise their digital content. The overall aim is to convert Vogue's two million Instagram followers into shoppers.

The service is activated once users register on the Liketoknow.it website, and then authorised when they open Instagram via a window that automatically pops up on log in. When users like an image on Vogue's Instagram feed that's embedded with a 'liketk.it' link, they will automatically be sent an email with a list of products featured in the photograph, and direct links to relevant e-commerce websites. It also enables users to save items for later. Vogue receives a commission from RewardStyle on any items purchased.

The process is hardly flawless – the initial sign-up procedure and the fact that it still requires a level of redirection before an item can be bought makes it far less seamless than most brands would like. However, it does indicate a vital evolution in the field of monetised social media.

Vogue is the first publishing brand to collaborate with Liketoknow.it, but there have already been other moves to monetise Instagram this year. US e-commerce application Paytagz allows users to sell via Instagram by simply posting a photograph of the item they wish to sell with the hashtag #forsale, along with the dollar asking price. It is then automatically reposted on the Paytagz site, which acts as a secure payment gateway for processing and authorising payments. For more, see the full blog post.

For more on how brands, including publishers, are monetising content and social media, see The Power of Pinterest section in The Rise of the Social Wishlist, Shoppable Content: Publishing and Shoppable Content: Entertainment in our Anywhere Retailing Industry Trend.

See also Instagram for Retail Brands.