Instagram is moving towards a crystal clear policy for everyone when a post has been paid for by an advertiser. The move comes in at a time when ethical issues have been raised from various quarters about the nature of advertisement and promotional content in modern day social media. Influencers of the future may have to clearly mention about the post being part of an advertisement campaign.
Influencer marketing is a major source of revenue for many celebrities – internet and otherwise. People having significant following due to their content being targeted by companies for promoting their business. The exercise has seen social media celebrities earn valuable business; volume of which depends on the influence circle of the account under question.
The problem however has become an ethical dilemma. At times the content shared on media often comes out without disclaimers. This ends up leading to situations which aren’t ideal at all times. Internet groups have voiced their concern about ‘hidden marketing tactics’ and now Instagram seems to be listening to such voices more carefully.
The disclosure statement
Influencer marketing where brands pay Instagram celebrities to promote their products may come with a crystal clear disclosure. Currently many sponsored posts come with ambiguous language or the details are mentioned in the ‘more’ button. An example of ambiguous language is when influencers just add a tiny “Thanks, [Sponsor Name Here]!” in the middle or end of a long caption.
Instagram’s Creative Programs Director, Charles Porch said that most influencers and advertisers are looking for a clear, straightforward way to make these disclosures.
“People are building amazing businesses on Instagram all over the world, at all sorts of scale,” Porch said. And those users are “looking for ways to be super transparent with their followers when they have a partnership.”
The new feature will help the influencers tag a brand as the sponsor for their post. This will accomplish a label “Paid partnership with” notification at the very top of the post. The disclosure will also show up on instagram stories if it’s part of a promotional campaign.
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“Right now, we’re still in phase one. The goal is to one, educate people and two, get a ton of feedback … There will be enforcement, but first we want to get feedback on how everyone reacts.”
Being an avid social media user, I think this is a right move, at a very good time indeed. Hope that other social media platforms will follow suit as well.