Social Media

The Instagram way to tapping local talent

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on February 28, 2020

Manish Chopra, head of partnership, Facebook India   -  Debasish Bhaduri

The Born on Instagram initiative will offer mentorship and collaboration opportunities to creators who are also called ‘influencers’

Facebook-owned Instagram is increasing its focus on local creators or independent content producers. The idea is to monetise the core asset (Instagram) by connecting brands with users and influencing purchase decisions.

Often called influencers, these creators — whom Instagram plans to tap — range from fashion video-bloggers to stand-up comedians to photographers to film stars.

According to Manish Chopra, Head of Partnerships, Facebook India, the aim is to engage with local creative talent, and, enable smaller creators get pan-India visibility.

“These influencers and creators are like micro-entrepreneurs for us. We will mentor them and provide a platform using which brands can connect with them,” he told BusinessLine on the launch of the ‘Born on Instagram’ programme here in Kolkata.

The Born on Instagram initiative will provide Indian creators mentoring and collaboration opportunities. This will also help them connect with brands. It will be rolled out in 15 cities that include upcountry locations such as Patna.

Apart from Kolkata, the programme has been rolled out in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.

During an analyst concall, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that Pura Vida — a jewelry company based in San Diego — ran ads on Facebook and Instagram for a 50 per cent off sale. In nine days, it sold more than 300,000 bracelets, supporting more than 800 artisans around the world.

Connecting with brands

Brands can tap Instagram’s over one-billion user base to influence users’ buying decisions, marketers say. If brands can tie up with the right influencers, it will help them better reach their targeted audience.

Marketers say cost on customer acquisition is lesser on Instagram and have found out new ways to connect. One is by doing influencer engagement. Bloggers, models, celebrities, travellers, fitness enthusiasts, chefs, and food experts have seen a surge in followers in the past couple of years.

Instagram had, in 2019, rolled out a Branded Content Ads feature which allows businesses and advertisers to reach out to audiences.

“Brands can also advertise on Instagram and get loyal users,” Chopra added.


Instagram has been working towards this end for some time now, say market sources. This includes adding new features to the platform which can shore up revenues. IT has also promoted longer videos through the Instagram TV (IGTV).

Apart from posting on the Instagram feed, there are other options like Stories. Stories is one offering that is also said to be gaining traction with 4 million advertisers using it globally.

Zuckerberg, during the concall, had said: “Beyond WhatsApp Payments, we’re working on other efforts to help facilitate more commerce...from Facebook Marketplace to Instagram Shopping to our work on Facebook Pay or our work on Libra.”

Published on February 28, 2020

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