Amazon expands its influencer affiliate program beyond YouTube

Amazon expands its influencer affiliate program beyond YouTube

Amazon is expanding its affiliate program for social influencers, enabling stars on Instagram and Twitter to make money from pointing their viewers in the direction of its online store.

The Amazon Influencer Program launched in beta earlier in 2017, and was initially only focused on YouTubers. They could sign up to get their own page on Amazon full of their product recommendations, and earn money when fans shopped through that page.

The company announced the expansion at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon. While few YouTubers aren't also active on Instagram and Twitter, the addition of Facebook's photo and video-sharing app may bring in a new wave of social stars to the program.

"I’ve seen people with tens of thousands of followers…that have been able to say, ‘hey, I’m going to quit my job and do this full-time’ just based on earnings they’ve made through our offering," said Amazon's Navid Hadzaad at the conference, according to TechCrunch.

Influencer Dan Markham, who has more than five million subscribers for his What's Inside channel on YouTube, also spoke at the event, revealing that one of his videos generated nearly 670k affiliate clicks through to a Fidget Cube gadget, generating more than $160k of sales. Markham's cut of those sales is around 8% under the terms of the program: so around $12.8k for that product alone.

With regulators continuing to press influencers to be as transparent as possible about their relationships with brands, affiliate programs like Amazon's – a model that's been used by bloggers long before the current online-video boom – may be increasingly attractive as an additional income stream for social stars.

Contributing Editor

Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)