It pays to have a lot of Instagram followers — literally. Top users on the photo-sharing service these days are finding that their simple picture snapping can be turned into real dollars, and a lot of them at that. The numbers may astound you: some users are receiving thousands of dollars in exchanging for sharing a single photo that promotes a company’s products.
While Instagram itself is rolling out new ways to serve official ads and make money, users are also finding ways to connect with large companies for unofficial ads in the form of sponsored photos.
New marketing agencies such as the Mobile Media Lab are also popping up to become the go-betweens that connect popular picture snappers with large companies willing to pay for their endorsement.
With its front row seats to this emerging industry, Mobile Media Lab is able to offer an accurate look at just how much money is changing hands these days. They say that represented Instagram users who have more than 100,000 followers can earn $700 to $900 per photo.
If you have 500,000 followers, you could be charging $2,000 to $3,000 per snap that thrusts a brand in front of your followers’ eyes. Mobile Media Lab founder Brian DiFeo tells Yahoo Tech that some fashion-focused Instagrammers are able to command $8,000 for a single sponsored photo.
And these are just the “normal” Instagram elite — real life celebrities that boast millions of Instagram followers are likely signing huge contracts these days for their Insta-endorsements. It is said that a photo is worth a thousand words, but for some smartphone snappers, a photo is literally now worth a thousand dollars (at least).