Instagram Wants Its Paid Shills to Be More Transparent

Geronimo Vena
Giugno 15, 2017

Everyone knows that celebrities make money by posting about products on their personal social media accounts, including the most popular photo-sharing app - Instagram.

"We are happy to see that Instagram has the ability to create a feature that helps to identify posts as advertisements, but this new feature does not address the problem of undisclosed paid ads", according to the spokesperson of Public Citizen in an interview with Buzzfeed. UK launch partners include Manchester United and Adidas.

Instagram says the tool will allow both the creator and business partner an access to "Insights" for that post, making it easier to share follower engagement numbers.

'Partnerships between community creators and businesses are an important part of the Instagram experience, and a healthy community should be open and consistent about paid partnerships'.

'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, ' Instagram explained.

The move comes after a report from the marketing firm Mediakix was released in April, which analyzed the massive $1 billion influencer marketing industry. The Facebook-owned service is now testing a dedicated label to better highlight sponsored posts on Instagram.

The new tagging system serves a double goal: It makes the compensation clear right at the top of the post, rather than burying this disclosure in a mess of hashtags that no one will read.

"We found that celebrities who post sponsored content may, on average, post 3 FTC compliant posts a year vs. 58 posts that are non-compliant", the marketing agency wrote.

Consumer watchdogs and the federal government have been cracking down on undisclosed "stealth" advertising on social media - particularly Instagram, where celebrities of all stripes have been caught shilling for products without disclosing they were compensated.

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