Instagram’s most recent update aims to increase transparency with its more than 700M users. Over the next few weeks, users will start to see “Paid partnership with…” tags on both posts and stories that contain sponsored content. Previously, influencers incorporated #ad or #sponsored hashtags into their Instagram captions.
New Tagging Feature For Transparency
This new tagging feature simplifies how creators inform their followers when they are partnering with a business, and it holds them accountable for letting fans know that they’re partnering with a brand. Some influencers are strict in their promotion policy and only feature products they personally use and endorse. However, others do not always follow that model, which can leave fans feeling deceived, especially when not all influencers label when they are getting paid to post.
Not only does this update increase transparency with fans, but it gives marketers insights to evaluate how their branded content and stories are performing. The influencer who posts the sponsored post will see their performance metrics in their Instagram Insights, and marketers and business partners can access reach and engagement numbers in the Insights section of their Facebook Business Page.
Currently, Instagram is working with a small number of creators and businesses to test the paid partnership tags. Instagram stated that the branded content tools, as well as official policies and rules for creators, will be released to all users over the next few months. Policies will be based on Facebook’s current paid practices.
What Instagram’s “Paid Partnership” Tag Means for Marketers
Honesty is the best policy
For a brand who partners with influencers, the more obvious partnership tag might not seem like an ideal update. However, the more honest approach will highlight a company’s ethical standards, which helps build more trust and respect from fans.
Additionally, with the advanced performance insights, partners can better hone their influencer strategy by gaining deeper insight into which influencers audiences prefer and what types of images or videos lead to more product sales.
Influencers Following Federal Trade Commission Regulations
Lastly, the update helps ensures brands and influencers are in line with the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations. With the quick rise of social media and the utilization of online personalities, the FTC has had trouble keeping regulations up to date and monitoring those who do not disclose their relationships with brands.
The latest update to their regulations was made in May 2015, but the social media landscape has seen several shifts since then, and more updates and reminders are necessary. Recently, the FTC sent more than 90 letters to various influencers and marketers reminding them that they need to clearly disclose relationships when promoting or endorsing products through social media.
Benefits for Everyone
Overall, the new update will benefit brands and creators alike. It provides better performance insights, makes fan relationships more transparent and it makes it easier to ensure all content meets FTC regulations. It’s a positive that can be used to hone a better influencer strategy.
IMAGE SOURCE: Instagram