On Wednesday (June 30), Instagram unveiled its latest feature which will help users find Black-owned businesses faster. The “Black-owned” label feature allows Black entrepreneurs identify their business pages, and reassure customers they’re supporting a Black business.
“People still ask, ‘Is this Black-owned?’ I think it’ll get rid of that question and it’ll make our consumer, the woman and the person that we market to, trust us,” founder and CEO of Canvas Beauty Brand Stormi Steele told NBC News. Steele attributed her exponential growth in sales to Instagram and said the feature will help support her haircare brand’s future.
“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 that answer,” Steele said.
With the feature, business owners can choose to have the Black-owned label displayed in their bio and may be included on the Shops page. The feature was created in response to the challenges Black people faced last year, including the economic burden Black business owners carried throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“There was a lot of tragedy happening in the Black community,” Rachel Brooks, a product manager at Instagram who helped create the label, told the outlet. “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.”
The label, Brooks said, won’t change the information the algorithm takes in but the page’s engagement will. Based on the algorithm, more users who engage with Black businesses may see pages who use the label in their feed.