Instagram has launched new in-depth metrics and is internally testing a direct payment feature

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week’s edition:

  • Instagram is giving creators access to more detailed data and testing a Reels payment feature

  • The top talent managers and agents for influencers, and who they represent

  • How creators make money using “link in bio” tools

  • 6 YouTube creators break down how much money their channels make per 1,000 views

  • And more including creator economy startup news and the best engagement strategies on Instagram.

Send tips to [email protected] or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.


Instagram is giving creators access to more detailed data and testing a Reels payment feature

Instagram is working on a feature that could allow creators to “get paid” for sharing Reels, its short-form videos that compete with TikTok.

The payment feature was surfaced through reverse engineering by mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi. Instagram confirmed its existence to Insider but said it was an internal prototype only — for now.

Such a feature could fit into Instagram’s plans to give creators a broader array of tools to make money.

In that vein, Instagram rolled out new Insight features this week, which will give creators access to more detailed data for both Reels and Live.

Sydney Bradley broke down the update and what’s next for Instagram on the data side:

  • Instagram’s Insights feature will now show metrics like total plays, accounts reached, likes, comments, saves, and shares for Reels.

  • Insights for Live will now show the total number of accounts reached, peak concurrent viewers, comments, and shares.

  • Instagram will also give creators access to more robust insights about reach and distribution.

The trend: Metrics like reach, which is the total number of accounts that saw a post, have become increasingly important to both creators and marketers as a way to gauge performance. 

Check out the full story on Instagram’s Insights tools for creators and businesses, here.

And more on the prototype of a feature that would pay creators who post Reels, here.

We built a database of the top talent managers and agents for influencers and who they represent

Talent managers and agents help creators make money and choose which business opportunities to pursue.

Sydney, Dan Whateley, and I built a database to give an inside look into who is representing the internet’s top stars. And it just got a big update.

Some highlights:

  • Click Management represents top talent in Australia and New Zealand, and a growing roster of gaming talent globally. 

  • Young Guns Entertainment manages two Atlanta-based content houses, Collab Crib and Valid Crib, which both feature Black creators. 

  • Clique-Now specializes in managing talent in the Asian American millennial market.

“We don’t want to be just managing an inbox,” Underscore Talent cofounder Dan Weinstein told Insider. “We actually want to provide some infrastructure to help them navigate this world, build longevity, and ultimately create real enterprise value for themselves beyond the transactional nature of what it is they are doing.”

Check out the full database for an inside look into who is representing the top creators, here.

Some ‘link-in-bio’ startups are taking a more active role in how creators make money, including paying them directly

Sean Gladwell/Getty Images.

Some “link-in-bio” startups — which let creators make a mini-website promoting their work that they then link to in their social-media profiles — are introducing new money-making features to differentiate themselves.

Companies like Linktree, Beacons, and Koji are adding features for tipping and exclusive content.

Dan Whateley broke down how creators are using link-in-bio pages to drive revenue:

  • On Wednesday, Linktree announced it would pay out $250,000 in a new “Passion Fund” for creators.

  • Koji works with in-house and third-party developers to offer a variety of monetization tools, including a digital billboard feature and a Cameo-copycat feature called “Shoutout.”

  • Beacons lets users make their TikTok videos “shoppable” by adding affiliate links to embedded videos on their pages.

As creators look at merch, exclusive content, tipping, and subscriptions as new sources of revenue, having a single place to promote their offerings has become more valuable.

But that could be undercut as platforms like Instagram and Twitter test their own built-in monetization features.

Read more about the features startups like Linktree, Beacons, and Koji Eye are launching, here.

6 YouTube creators break down how much money their channels make for every 1,000 views

Many YouTube creators experienced a decline in ad-revenue rates during the start of the pandemic.

Now, rates have largely bounced back, and some creators are earning much more off videos than they were in 2020.

YouTube’s central creator monetization metric is called revenue per mille (RPM), or how much revenue a creator earns per every 1,000 video views (after YouTube’s 45% cut).

I spoke with six creators who broke down how much money they make for every 1,000 views on YouTube (RPM):

  • Michael Groth (1.4 million subscribers) said his average RPM rate on YouTube is between $2 and $4.

  • Shelby Church (1.6 million subscribers) said her average RPM rate on YouTube is between $9 and $12.

  • Natalie Barbu (295,000 subscribers) said her average RPM rate on YouTube is around $10.

Some subjects, like personal finance, can boost a creator’s rate by attracting an audience that’s valuable to advertisers. 

Read more about how much money YouTube creators make on the platform, here.

More creator industry coverage from Insider:

  • Best practices to help boost engagement on Instagram (Sydney Bradley)

  • The top 23 UK TikTok stars with the biggest followings (Molly Innes)

  • Snapchat won’t pay $1 million per day to creators anymore but says it will still dish out “millions per week” (Dan Whateley)

Creator economy startup news:

This week, Lauren Johnson reported that a new startup called Key had raised $3 million to help influencers collect contact information from their followers via a link-in-bio page. 

Getting access to a fan’s email or cell phone has become particularly popular among creators looking for new ways to promote their content, an event, or a product to their fans. Last month, startup Community raised $40 million from Salesforce to build out its text-message platform used by influencers like Addison Rae Easterling and Joshua Weismann.

Every week, Insider gives a rundown of news on hires, promotions, and other creator company announcements. This week includes updates at Snap, ByteDance, and Clubhouse.

Read the full rundown of creator industry moves, here.

Screenshot from the “Charlie Bit My Finger” videoHDCYT/YouTube

Social-media news and platform updates: 

  • TikTok just got a new female text-to-speech voice. An actor previously sued, alleging the company used her voice without permission.

  • The White House created a Snapchat lens to answer questions about the coronavirus vaccine.

  • The original “Charlie Bit My Finger” viral video has sold as an NFT for $760,999 – and the family who created the video is taking the original off YouTube.

  • SiriusXM is launching TikTok Radio this summer, a full-time music channel featuring “the trending sounds that are redefining pop culture from TikTok.” 

Screenshot of #imgettingrippedtonight/TikTok

TikTok’s top trending hashtag of the week: 

TikTok is where trends often start in 2021. Every week we highlight a trending hashtag on TikTok, according to data provided by Kyra IQ.

This week’s top hashtag: #ImGettingRippedTonight

  • The percentage uptick for the last 7 days: 1,586%.

  • This trend is centered around a viral dance to a song by Starboi and Doja Cat. This hashtag is at the top of the growth charts with the prompt: “Whether it’s a movie quote or a perfect impression, show us how you finish the sentence.” 

This week from Insider’s digital culture team:

Joseph Okpako/Getty; Marianne Ayala/Insider

Inside the OnlyFans reality show where 10 women moved into rapper Blueface’s house to find fame, but some say they left with trauma, injuries, and matching tattoos

Ten women took part in an OnlyFans show set up by the rapper Blueface called “Blue Girls Club.”

The 21-day show featured physical fights, twerking, sex toys, drinking games, and matching tattoos.

Lindsay Dodgson spoke with five women who talked about their experiences.

“It was very traumatizing,” contestant Kayla Stinson said. “I would have rather it had been scripted because then we probably wouldn’t have had as much drama in the house as we did.”

Read more about what the reality show was like, here.

More on digital culture: 

  • Pokémon card influencers explain how scalpers, nostalgia, and YouTube have boosted the value of the collectibles to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.

  • A viral party called “Adrian’s Kickback” blew up on TikTok over the weekend and led to nearly 150 arrests, police said.

Here’s what else we’re reading:

  • Influencers say the marketing agency Mediakix owes them thousands of dollars (Stephanie McNeal, from BuzzFeed)

  • TikTok is the fastest way to become a food star (Taylor Lorenz, from The New York Times)

  • Inside the Facetune epidemic (Jesselyn Cook, from HuffPost)

  • MLMs are still thriving on TikTok (Olivia Little, from Media Matters)

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