On Wednesday, Instagram introduced a new tagging tool to its platform that allows influencers to identify their sponsored posts and content with a “Paid partnership with” tag. The effort aims at increasing transparency on the social network.
Instagram personalities and celebrities are often uploading pictures and stories showing lux lifestyles and unique items that are meant to double as paid ads by companies and businesses. If people don’t say so outright, it might not be clear that it is all advertisement.
Going forward, Instagram wants to create standardized guidelines and implement them on the site and mobile app as it transcends from mere social network to business platform for more than 700 million users.
The Federal Trade Commission sent letters 90 influencers asking them to identify their sponsored posts
Social media created issues that developers and creators did not expect in the least when they came up with their platforms. People are committing crimes and harming themselves in Facebook Live, and using Snapchat for revenge porn.
One of the problems that these networks are experiencing is the lack of transparency. YouTubers and Instagram influencers often talk about products and services nonchalantly without disclosing that they are getting money from the manufacturers.
Personalities often don’t identify their sponsored content as ads because they fear it will affect their online persona and influence. In Instagram, those who do adhere to best practices will simply add a hashtag like #sponsored or #ad in the description of their photo or story.
The issue has gotten so out of control that the Federal Trade Commission sent a letter to 90 Instagram influencers earlier this year to ask them nicely to please disclose their commercial relationships with brands and companies when they publish promoted content.
Instagram came up with the perfect solution for marketing transparency in the platform
Instagram, ever the problem-solver, came up with a seamless solution that is both non-intrusive and in line with other style standards of the social network: tags.
Now, when a company sponsors a post, a sub-header will appear below the user’s handle on the post saying “Paid partnership with” followed by the brand’s Instagram handle.
This way, publications don’t require further identification with a thousand hashtags in the description, although it is advised to mention them as a way of further clarifying things for followers.
Branded content in Instagram will also unlock Insights tools to business partners, letting them see their engagement metrics resulting from an influencer’s post. Transparency and best practices are the outcomes of a single tag implementation.