With the arrival of a new digital shopping network, a reckoning for social media stars and their true influence may be imminent.
The much-followed figures of the digital social space earn millions in ongoing sponsorship deals that fall on a “price-per-post” continuum, from Kim Kardashian’s uploads about weight loss tea to Ariana Grande shouting Airbnb for a luxurious weekend getaway.
But Talk Shop Live, an e-commerce platform that lets any seller broadcast a live shopping experience directly to their followers, could give blunt insight into how effective any given account is at pushing product.
“The experience doesn’t just allow for modern and authentic commerce, it provides a true measurement of influencer impact,” Bryan Moore, co-founder of the service, said in a launch announcement.
Moore believes the platform “offers a tangible look at [return on investment] from influencers that no other social media platform can offer a brand. It’s not about how many real or bought impressions they can get, but rather how many items they can move”
The micro-economy of paid influencers has been prevalent in Hollywood for years, with talent agencies like CAA carving out dedicated departments seeking deals for their actor and athlete clients. The setup has also drawn ire from the government.
Last Spring, the Federal Trade Commission targeted 90 influencers and companies with public reminders to accurately and loudly disclose their content was paid advertising . It sparked wide awareness of follower integrity, given a glut of services that provide bots and fake followers en masse at reasonable prices for the would-be influencer.
Instagram responded by testing an integration for paid posts. Talk Shop Live brings a lot more transparency, and empowers individuals to become de facto hosts of their own QVC-style broadcast. Within its first two weeks, the platform already has vendors stepping up to the plate.
“Dance Moms” sensation and Sia collaborator Chloe Lukasiak drove 40,000 users to a live-streamed digital “book signing” when Talk Shop Live was in beta. The boosted sales for a small New Jersey bookseller Bookends, which stocked the signing, Moore said.
Longtime costumer for Katy Perry, Julie Mollo, is rolling out an exclusive line of clutch purses line on the platfor, one every month at a $25 price point. Celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch (Halle Berry’s famous Oscar gown, one of the last people to dress Michael Jackson) has an affordably priced jewelry line. YouTube musician Megan Nicole (4 million subscribers and counting) has a clothing line called Confetti Hearts for sale. Announcements with the likes of star chef Giada De Laurentiis (she’s doing a live cookbook sale this Saturday, in addition to products from her line Giadzy) will hit in the coming weeks.
There’s big business at stake for brands and the figures they trust to move the needle. Instagram nearly doubled its annual amount of sponsored post to over 1.5 million posts in 2017, USA Today reported last month.
Learn more about Talk Shop Live, available for desktop and iOs, here.