Instagram has been a key in the past to customers finding Black-owned businesses and now the platform has taken steps to cement that relationship further. On Wednesday, Instagram announced that its new “Black-owned” label that U.S.-based businesses like Canvas Beauty can add to their profiles.
Back in 2017, Stormi Steele posted a video on her social media accounts of how to use Black hair products she created herself with a merge investment of $800. This homegrown business of hers, Canvas Beauty Brand, later brought in $435,000 in profits through a single $100 paid social media advertisement.
Steele said even with this rapid progress, buyers were still asking the same question: Is this Black haircare brand Black-owned?
The company said that this will make it easier to find Black-owned businesses. Business accounts can select to display the “Black-owned business” label in their bios, and may be included on the Shops page.
They can then tap on “Edit Profile” and choose “Business Diversity Info,” which will present them with information on what it means to designate their business as Black-owned. Customers can further explore curated collections created by the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network’s @shop account in the application’s Shop tab.
Instagram does not have concrete numbers regarding how many businesses are expected to enable this feature. But more than 1.3 million Instagram posts included “Black-owned” or “Black-led” during the height of the summer of COVID-induced homestay last year. The number of U.S.-based businesses that listed these labels in their profiles had increased by 50 % in the same period.
“There was a lot of tragedy happening in the Black community,” said Rachel Brooks, a product manager at Instagram on the equity team who worked on developing the label at the height of the racial killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter campaign.
“On top of that, there was a global pandemic raging, and a lot of challenges particularly with Black-owned businesses being able to stay open, maintain livelihoods, those sorts of things. And so, what we saw is the community really rallied around Black-owned businesses somewhat naturally and organically by using #BuyBlack and all sorts of other ways of amplifying Black-owned businesses.”
That rallying prompted Instagram to develop an official label to support this specific interest, adding structure and making it easier for users to search for businesses, she said.
Instagram further added to the information to its business account holders that they have full access to tools to protect their accounts from abuse, inappropriate comments, offensive language, and even spam.
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