Happy Friday! We hope you’re out there soaking up the mystique that is late summer, whether it’s on a patio in the city or on a deck up at the cottage. While you’re easing into the weekend, check out the latest installment of the Weekly Download. 

This week, Instagram continues to copy TikTok, third-party Amazon sellers will have to absorb fulfillment fees during the holidays, Shopify adds affiliate marketing between merchants and content creators, and TikTok ups its U.S. election information to counter misinformation.

Yes, Instagram Is Making More Changes to Reels

Remember when we reported how TikTok was leading the UX design among various social media channels (cough, Meta, cough)? Now we have further confirmation in this list from Mashable, which looked at each change implemented by Instagram to look more and more like TikTok

Let’s look at what Instagram has done so far: 

  • Introduced the ability to remix Reels 
  • Pivoted hard to video
  • Made data and insights available to Reel creators
  • Provided more opportunities for creators to monetize their content

The big question, though, is this: If Instagram is turning into TikTok but TikTok is the leading platform, why would a marketer want to be on Instagram? 

Amazon Ups Seller Fees for Holiday Season

We know the holidays can be expensive, and this year, third-party sellers on Amazon are going to feel the hit to their bottom line. The shopping behemoth announced that it is raising charges on third-party sellers, adding a holiday fee for merchants that use the company’s fulfillment service to send their goods to customers. 

Between October 15 and January 23, those sellers will have to pay an extra 35 cents per item sold via Amazon’s fulfillment services in both Canada and the United States. The reasoning is that the holiday season is a busy time, with an increase in shipments. Prior to this announcement, Amazon said, it had been absorbing the increase in costs, but now those costs are “reaching new heights,” so sellers will have to shoulder them. 

This is the second recent fee hike for Amazon sellers. In April, the company imposed a 5% surcharge to offset rising gas costs and inflation. 

Shopify Introduces Tool to Connect Content Creators with Merchants in Bid for New Growth

The tool, called Shopify Collabs, will allow creators to “discover and partner with merchants to build curated shops and share products that reflect their own interests,” according to a company release. 

How does it work? Using Collabs, creators can apply for a free account, which would let them browse Shopify merchants that might be a good fit for their audience. Then they can partner with those merchants, promoting their products. The creators get paid when their viewers buy those products using their link.

It’s affiliate marketing, basically. Merchants can benefit by getting exposure to a wider or different audience, and hopefully that converts to increased sales. 

TikTok Launches ‘Elections Center’ to Combat Misinformation

Elections bring campaigning, tons of social media, and, inevitably, misinformation. With the U.S. midterm elections coming up in the fall, TikTok is launching an “Elections Center” that will be a source of vetted election information for TikTok users who search via hashtags. 

The platform is working with the National Association of Secretaries of State, Ballotpedia, the Center for Democracy in Deaf America, the Federal Voting Assistance Program, the Campus Vote Project, and Restore Your Vote to provide the resources.

TikTok will also continue to not allow paid political advertising and will prohibit election misinformation. 

Friday Fun!

Were you a Meghan or an Aidy in high school?