In June, Instagram introduced a branded content tool that allows influencers and celebrities to label posts that have been sponsored by advertisers. The tool has now been made available to all users.
Facebook and Instagram are facing some issues with influential users who post promotional posts on behalf of third parties, or in partnership with them, and don’t label them as such. Apart from the ethics, the problem is starting to become a legal one. For one, the FTC in the US, and the UK’s advertising watchdog are both starting to get involved.
Instagram introduced a branded content tool to some accounts in June, and then in August set up a branded content policy to go with it. Now, all content sponsored by brands on the platform needs to be labeled as such. To help make this happen, Instagram has made the branded content tool available to all accounts that have access to Insights data. We assume this means all business accounts on the platform.
Now that this has happened, Instagram has also started to automatically detect branded content that hasn’t used the tool, and to notify the accounts they belong to. This is probably only the first step in how Instagram will begin to enforce its branded content policy, as the accounts “will have the option to tag a business” without facing action. Instagram explains that
[quote]These notifications are intended to make it easier to use the ‘Paid Partnership with’ tag and educate the community[/quote]