Instagram announced recently that it created a standardized format to determine that an individual post has been paid for by an advertiser. It differentiates from a regular content to sponsored post.
The latest label will have the words “Paid partnership with [advertiser].” It’ll appear above a sponsored post or stories. It’s available for all users promoting brands or products.
“In the coming weeks, you’ll start to see a new “Paid partnership with” tag on posts and stories. This feature will help creators more clearly communicate to their followers when they are working in partnership with a business. Not only is this level of transparency beneficial for our community, but it also gives creators and businesses the ability to track and share insights around a partnered post.”
The introduction of this new format came in the same week after a report claimed that the majority of paid posts by Instagram users were not labeled based on the FTC guidelines.
According to the FTC, sponsored posts should have an explicit reference that they are paid advertising. They could be “sponsored by” or with a hashtag of #ad. But some Instagram users are just using vague hashtags, such as #partner or #sp.
In April 2017, the FTC sent a notice to some Instagram users to remind them to disclose clearly the connection they have with a brand or company. The organization stated that the use of vague hashtags doesn’t follow the guidelines because the “#sp” doesn’t precisely indicate a paid sponsorship.
According to Instagram, this new feature maintains authenticity across the network. However, the value comes in two forms.
For one, content creators get access to the engagement data. In this way, they know the kind of social marketing that works best for them. Second, popular Instagram users can’t easily push products without properly admitting it.
With the notification above the image, instead of the description below, the new system allows an easy way for followers to identify whether or not the post is paid for by an advertiser.
Transparency of Paid Partnerships
“Launching this branded content tool is the first step in ensuring transparency of paid partnerships on Instagram. As we continue to learn how our community engages with the product, we’ll be able to gather important feedback. In the coming months, we’ll also be launching an official policy and enforcement for creators to follow based off Facebook’s current practices.”
The idea of influencer marketing on Instagram is great as it offers a lot of benefits. For instance, it boosts brand awareness while it helps in building trust and client acquisition. It’s also great as a tool for sales leads.
Influencer marketing won’t disappear anytime soon. And brands are aware of it. In fact, most of them are increasing their budgets as part of their influencer marketing campaign. For them, it’s a cost-effective solution for client acquisition. Apart from acquiring new customers, it also provides an impressive ROI.
With the new feature, Instagram is just complying with the law. It may not be the kind of post that you see on your feed, but it’s ideal to encourage authenticity. They must disclose if they’re being paid for it.