Exclusive: Instacart Cuts Staff, Curbs Hiring in Run-up to IPORead Now

Snap said Wednesday it would launch a marketplace to connect creators with brands. Photo: Bloomberg

How Snap and Facebook Creator Marketplaces Could Stumble

Photo: Snap said Wednesday it would launch a marketplace to connect creators with brands. Photo: Bloomberg

Snap and Facebook are joining TikTok in establishing marketplaces to connect creators with brands, elbowing into territory dominated by influencer marketing agencies. 

Snap on Wednesday revealed it was launching its own creator marketplace to connect advertisers with creators for sponsorship deals. These match-making services, which might pair a brand like Dunkin’ with an influencer such as Carter Kench, are emerging as a new frontier for social media giants that want online talent. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased a similar initiative last week.

When it comes to pricing, Snap and Facebook present a serious threat to the network of influencer-focused marketing agencies that have flourished over the last decade. Snap promises it won’t take a cut of any sponsorships its creators secure, similar to TikTok, which launched its own creator marketplace in 2019. Influencer marketing agencies, in contrast, generally charge a fee. But it’s no sure thing the big tech platforms will be able to win creators where it matters most: finding big sponsors that dovetail with creators’ carefully cultivated personas. 

Sarah Dickinson, who runs a TikTok account dedicated to cooking with ingredients from Trader Joe’s, recently told me she received brand inquiries via TikTok’s creator marketplace, which is still in beta. But the pitches, one for clothing and another for a blackhead-removing serum, were too off-topic. “It’s totally irrelevant to what I post about. It would seem very strange coming from my profile,” Dickinson said. “So I didn’t respond to them.” 

While that’s just one example, it illustrates how the marketplaces can founder. The other big question is how involved Facebook and Snap staff will be in hammering out these deals. Many agencies, such as The Influencer Marketing Factory in New York City, handle everything from negotiating prices to coming up with creative ideas and providing an in-depth analysis of sales, clicks and downloads. “Those big budget campaigns aren't getting brokered through [direct messages],” said Lia Haberman, an adjunct professor of influencer marketing at University of California, Los Angeles. 

In their favor, these new marketplaces won’t require upfront payouts like the multi-million-dollar funds Snap and TikTok have established to pay creators making videos for their apps. And both companies can leverage their existing relationships with Fortune 500 companies. 

Snap, for its part, is starting with what it knows best. The marketplace will focus on connecting advertisers with augmented reality creators who make snazzy filters, called lenses, that overlay objects like crowns and animal ears on users. Its executives clearly expect to overcome any early hurdles. Within a year, Snap said it plans to expand the program to include all creators.

Here’s what else is going on...

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
Exclusive startups
Instacart Cuts Staff, Curbs Hiring in Run-up to IPO
Instacart CEO Fidji Simo. Photo by Bloomberg.
Instacart has been letting go of staff, slowing hiring and curbing other expenses as it heads toward a public listing, when the grocery-delivery company will try to convince public investors that it can maintain its growth—and make a profit—as the economy slows. The San Francisco startup over the last two months has fired some of its more than 3,000 workers after holding midyear...
Latest Briefs
Twitch’s Creators Chief Departs Amid Payout Cutbacks
Amazon Informs Employees It Miscalculated Raises
Google CEO Addresses Employee Questions about Cost-Cutting
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Data Point startups venture capital
Venture Firms’ $290 Billion ‘Dry Powder’ is About to Revive Startup Funding
Startup founders should expect a tidal wave of venture capital interest next year as a record level of dry powder pressures VC funds to step up their investment pace, according to a new analysis of these cash reserves.
Exclusive amazon entertainment
Netflix’s New Ad Chief Has an Appetite for Danger
Before Netflix hired Jeremi Gorman as its new advertising chief to bring growth back to its struggling business, Gorman had compiled a colorful résumé of professional and personal accomplishments.
Patrick Collison. Photo by Getty Images.
Exclusive startups venture capital
Stripe’s Early Stock Awards Could Spur IPO Plans
Stripe founders John and Patrick Collison have indicated the payments software pioneer, valued in its last fundraising at $95 billion, is in no rush to go public.
Art by Mike Sullivan
True Value google amazon
The Haziness in Microsoft’s Cloud Numbers
Here’s a quick question for enterprise software acolytes out there: which tech giant is bigger in cloud, Microsoft or Amazon?
startups venture capital
Debt Pitches Are in Vogue, but Not All Tech Startups Are Biting
When bankers from Morgan Stanley pitched cloud security firm Wiz last month about raising money through an issue of convertible notes, Wiz could have become the latest startup to pursue a financing tool that’s suddenly in vogue.
Illustration by Matheus Costa.
apple crypto
How Apple’s App Store Policies Squeeze NFT Startups
Non-fungible tokens, like much of the crypto world, are in regulators’ and lawmakers’ crosshairs.