You’ve seen it all over instagram. is part of the REWARDSTYLE marketing platform, a shopping construct that lets influencers on blogs and social platforms like Instagram get paid for their work. Purported to have driven $1 billion dollars last year in sales for retail and brand partners from over 12,000 influencers, Rewardstyle is bread & butter income for many bloggers, allowing them a revenue stream until they get big enough to command the big bucks for sponsored posts and partnerships. And allowing them to monetize the endless time and energy they put in to creating their beautiful social media feeds.

What is Rewardstyle?

Rewardstyle has been ahead of the curve all along, leap-frogging their competition with innovations designed to meet the needs of the very powerful influencer community to drive online retail. In the late 2000’s, bloggers were wandering around the internet trying to effectively cobble together affiliate links for sales commissions, having to hunt and peck for better brands across at least a half dozen user-unfriendly networks. (er mer ger with the CommissionJunction and Ratuken) Rewardstyle founder Amber Venz Box and partner Baxter Box created rewardstyle in 2011, so that Amber could monetize her fashion blog with commissions from the higher end brands she wanted to feature. Things exploded from there and every fashion, decor and beauty blogger jumped on the rStyle program as soon as they could be added (you must be invited to join).

All was well and good, with affiliate links happily being used on blogs and social media to generate commissions whenever a link was used and a purchase made.  Consumers would see something they like on a blog, click a link, make a buy, and voila. The retailer made a sale, rStyle and the influencer got their cut, and the blog reader got access and inspiration to buy items they may otherwise not have known about.

Until Instagram.

Instagram does not allow clickable links in posts or comments. And yet, instagram quickly became the social media of choice for the fashionable and their followers. So easy and so fun! But how to monetize the time and energy spent creating all those gorgeous & stylish photos? Rstyle created the solution with let shoppers create an account tied to their Instagram profile, so that every time you liked a influencer’s photo on Instagram, you would receive an email with the shoppable link(s) to purchase the item(s). Thereby allowing you to shop products you saw in your Instagram feed. Genius, really.

And yet, along came snapchat. Plus, a business on Instagram or Facebook is really like living in a rental. The landlord is still in charge of your destiny. And as we all know, Facebook can be capricious landlord.

Rewardstyle creates the app.

It’s an app based on screenshots, so it is platform agnostic. To use the app, all you have to do is take a screenshot of a photo you want to shop. This can be a screenshot of an Influencer’s Instagram, a “Snap”, a photo from a fashion site, or even a photo your friend sends you. 

From Kate at TheChicSeries ~ helps my followers or friends easily shop my outfits.  My target audience is a young active mom who has her hands full, literally.  She wants to look cute but doesn’t have time to shop or the thought of heading into a store with little ones is overwhelming and slightly terrifying.  

Immediately after taking a screenshot the app will analyze it (it connects to your screenshot album in photos) and send you a push notification if it can match the image with one of millions of influencer-submitted and tagged photos in its database. Then, you open the app and shop the content that was featured in the photo. Easy peasy.

Essentially it’s the same service that fans have grown to love, except it can now be used anywhere across any platform. Using the app lets users migrate more easily between social platforms, and even if instagram loses ground to a new platform, the screenshot functionality will allow rstyle and its Influencers to immediately adapt to the new vehicle.

So, if you’ve been wondering why you see these letters on so many of your favorite IG posts,, now you know. It’s so you can shop their feeds, if online shopping is your thing. We like to shop local, but we get it. Sometimes you can’t find what you’re looking for at a Charlotte shop. At least, if you shop the feed of a Charlotte blogger, you’re keeping a little of the $$ local. And that’s always a good thing.