Instagram has unveiled a new feature. The new update will allow businesses to label their businesses as Black-owned.
The move is to help both consumers identify Black business owners they’d like to support and patronize and to help business owners find the people interested in their product.
Stormi Steele, the owner of Canvas Beauty Brand, told NBC News, the label will help.
“People still ask, ‘Is this Black owned?’” Steele said. ”I think it’ll get rid of that question and it’ll make our consumer, the woman and the person that we marker to, trust us. It helps us to not have to continuously reiterate we’re Black owned, because that’s the difference between the conversion or not, most of the time, especially to the customer who wants to know the answer.”
The label “Black owned business” would appear on the Shops page of their Instagram profile.
In the summer of 2020, in the midst of racial injustice and social unrest, people began searching for ways to support the Black community, socially, professionally and economically, which included a more concentrated effort in investing in Black businesses.
According to NBC News, the number of profiles identifying themselves as Black-owned increased by 50 percent during this time.
Rachel Brooks, a product manager at Instagram, told NBC, “There was a lot of tragedy happening in the Black community. 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.”
Brooks echoed Steele’s sentiment in that the label will help consumers find the information they need quickly and without having to ask business owners whenever they’re looking to make a purchase that supports the community.
“When you see a profile, you know where the name is, you know where you can find the post, you know where you can find the stories or whatever it might be,” Brooks said. “The idea is to create a standard so that people know how to consistently find the information. Otherwise, people are kind of fishing for this information.”
With Instagram’s algorithm constantly noting what users like, share and engage with, users who are interested in Black-owned businesses are more likely to do so with this label on in the feed.