Black-owned businesses can now add a label to their profiles pages to inform customers they are buying Black. (Courtesy Photo)

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member

In an effort to support Black-owned businesses, Instagram has rolled out a new feature for U.S. entrepreneurs to identify their profile page as a Black business. They will also be able to display a “Black-owned” label on their page. 

Besides calling for the defunding of the police to address the brutality that Black Americans experience, the Black Lives Matter Movement has also heavily argued for industries to advance their support for Black businesses. This advocacy has sparked a desire to buy Black, and Instagram’s new feature is helping to make these businesses more discoverable. 

“The Black community and Black culture are important to Instagram’s success and relevance,” said Rachel Brooks, product lead at Instagram. “With that, it’s important that we, in turn, support a community that creates such vibrancy and relevance on the app.” 

From the summer into the fall of 2020, there was more than a 50% increase in the number of U.S. businesses that indicated they were Black-owned or Black-led in their profile page. There were also over 1.3 million Instagram posts in support of Black-owned or Black-led businesses. According to Brooks, users have continually posted about Black businesses, and they have also used Instagram’s #BuyBlack sticker in the stories they create. As a result of this, the social media platform discerned that its platform should implement an extra tool to increase accessibility for users. 

To designate their shops as Black-owned, companies must tap the “Edit Profile” button and then select “Business Diversity Info.” After, they will be sent to the “Diversity Info” page, where they can then toggle on the “Show Black-owned business label” setting and enable the “Black-owned” label. 

Once a business has done this, it has the opportunity to be highlighted on Instagram’s “Shop” tab, which was added to the Explore page last year. This will allow potential customers to discover more Black-owned businesses to buy from. 

“By building up wealth in the Black community in the ways that we can, we are contributing to better outcomes and better lives for Black people,” said Brooks.

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