Rather than go down the traditional “Sponsored Post” route, paying Instagram directly for spreading content, many brands prefer to link up with “influencers” to push their products in subtler ways. Well, those methods are about to get a whole lot less subtle thanks to a new sponsored content tag Instagram is working on.
Up until now most celebrities and influencers were able to post paid for content legally by simply adding a little #ad hashtag in the captions, but advertising watchdogs don’t think this is clear enough. In fact, recently The American Federal Trade Commission sent out 90 letters to Instagram big shots across the world of sport, music, and entertainment, asking them to make sure it’s clear when posts are ads, or else there will be consequences.
“This is the first step in a journey as we learn how the community engages with this new tool – and our focus is on gathering feedback,” says Instagram. “We’re initially partnering with a small number of creators and businesses and we will make these tools widely available in the coming months along with an official policy and enforcement guidelines.”
As well as making it clear to users when content is paid for, the tag will also give the advertiser direct access to all the metrics like impressions and click through rate. Currently just a select number of brands and influencers have the tool, but it will rolling out to more users in the near future.