Chicago-based startup Popular Pays is giving businesses a way to connect with influential Instagram users with 500 followers or more to generate word-of-mouth marketing. The platform allows businesses to offer "swaps" where qualifying Instagram users can try a product or service for free in exchange for possibly posting about the experience on their accounts -- posting isn't required. "We believe in the power of influence and the fact that everyone is their own media channel," Popular Pays co-founder Allan Holmes said.

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