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Amazon wants social media influencers to sell you products

Its new influencer affiliate program lets YouTubers set up their own curated stores.
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Amazon's always kicked a few cents the way of its unpaid salespeople if they convince family and friends to purchase something. Now, however, the company is making a big play for people and companies with large social media followings. The retailer has launched an "influencer program" that enables folks that are big on the internet to set up their own branded stores.

Let's imagine that you're a YouTube star, called Davina Internet, with a following in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. If Amazon accepted your invitation to join its program, you'd be able to set up a storefront at amazon.com/Shop/DavinaInternet. You'd then curate a list of products from Amazon's site that you recommended on your channel or otherwise think would be neat for other people to buy.

Of course, this does mean that there's yet another link between social media stars and the murky world of advertising. One of the way that many Instagrammers can make some serious bank is by recommending a product as if they used it. In fact, Kim Kardashian has had a few stern looks from the FTC and FDA for promoting products without disclosing that she was paid to do so.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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