Following its launch earlier this year, Facebook’s new Libra currency is expected to alter the way that affiliate marketing occurs on the social media platform.

Whilst Facebook has been resistant to allowing iGaming affiliates to engage easily on the platform it is important to understand how the platform is progressing it’s functionality for affiliate marketers to benefit from. 

So first things first, what is Libra? 

Administered by not-for-profit membership organisation Libra Association, Libra is a permissioned blockchain digital currency which has been proposed by Facebook. Expected to launch in 2020, Facebook is planning to use the currency to roll-out a full payments network alongside payment networks Visa and Mastercard, payments processors such as giant First Data as well as large e-commerce merchants.

AffiliateINSIDER’s Lee-Ann Johnstone says: “We live in a fast paced digital age, where websites are no longer the only way to monetise and engage new customers. With social media platforms enhancing their features, and influencer marketing becoming more apparent in acquisition marketing, it’s not surprising that blockchain is being implemented in the platform stack alongside. 

“Social media is a cost effective way to engage and build audiences around your brand, monetisation of these audiences is the logical next step within the growing ecosystem.”

The likelihood is, Libra will help to develop ways for affiliates to monetise their own communities in real time, at the point of sale. In doing so this will potentially propel Facebook to become one of the largest global super-affiliate platforms. Essentially, anyone can be an affiliate with no technical capabilities required. 

So what will be the likely impact of Libra on wider affiliate networks? 

Well, even though the currency doesn’t need to be linked to one specific Facebook profile, each user on the social media is able to create their own Libra wallet. Among the industry, there is a general perception that Libra could possibly be utilised by Facebook to offer new rewards to its users for certain actions, while also offering members of the Libra Association a ‘cash back opportunity’ for when they pay via Libra.

So what does this actually mean? Well, it’s likely that a Libra user is able to review a variety of products, embedding their public address through a UTM, with the intention of selling the product. Providing that the seller supports Libra, as soon as a purchase is done, the funds would move frm the referred customer into the merchant’s Libra wallet, and a commission would be paid automatically into the affiliate/referrer account. 

Put simply: there would be an instant payment to the affiliate, with negligible transaction fees, cutting out the waiting time between payment cycles. To put this on a larger scale, for example on Instagram Shop, affiliates can benefit massively if they choose to go down this route.

Affiliates should ideally be keeping an eye on this new release, monitoring the value of the system in terms of sales, reach, reliability, flexibility and friendliness, at all levels. As stated by Frank Ravanelli, Asia/Oceania general media manager and Asia/EMEA head of affiliates for FOREO, ‘the times of the undifferentiated affiliate networks are almost gone, Libra will just give the final blow.’