Instagram has released a significant new e-commerce feature that gives black-owned brands the option to add a label signifying diversity. Once the "Black-Owned" label has been added to a profile, opportunities for discoverability improve considerably. Instagram will be using this label to add and highlight Black-led business profiles in the Shop tab and curated product collections.
According to Instagram, there were over 1.3 million posts supporting “Black-owned” or “Black-led” businesses from last summer through fall and US based businesses saw an over 50% increase in “Black-owned” or “Black-led” marked in their bios. This is an important shift in interest after the culmination of Black Lives Matter movement last summer, and Instagram is trying to make discovering similar businesses easier.
As reported by Divya Kunapuli, Product Marketing Manager and Rachel Brooks, Product Manager, Equity at Instagram:
"We’ve heard from our community that in addition to showing love to their favorite Black-owned businesses, they’re eager to discover more of them. If you are located in the US, you will see the “Black-owned” label on the profile and corresponding product pages of any eligible business that has self-designated. You can also explore curated collections created by @Shop in the Shop tab, highlighting a range of products from Black-owned businesses."
To add the label to your profile, go to “Edit Profile,” and select “Business Diversity Info.” Here you will be able to learn more about what it means to label your business as Black-owned. Once understood, you can enable the label and it will show up on your profile and product pages. The added label will then enable your products to be highlighted in the curated collections in the Shop tab, enabling more people to discover your brand. Businesses also have access to moderation tools that help them handle spam, offensive language, and inappropriate comments.
It's possible that the new “Business Diversity Info” on profiles may hint at future opportunities for brands from different diverse backgrounds. Time will tell if Instagram will add more labels for the various communities users are looking to support.
Instagram says they have more plans for creating economic opportunities for Black-owned businesses, coming soon.
This news comes about two months after Instagram’s Equity Team, which was formed in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter protests in the US last year, released their progress update along with steps to start eliminating bias in machine learning and algorithmic models, which are based on current user behavior.
Instagram is collaborating with Black-owned businesses @blackownedeverything, @ghettogastro, @alexandrawinbush and @browniepointsforyou, showcasing them throughout the week on @instagramforbusiness and @creators.