Instagram throws paid posts into the spotlight

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Social media marketing is crucial to almost any business, whether it’s advertisement or digital brand awareness. One of the most popular methods for brands to advertise on platforms such as Instagram is to use social media influencers.

Influencers are particularly effective because the format in which advertising is presented doesn’t actually look like advertising, but this makes it difficult for consumers to distinguish between sponsored and non-sponsored content.

While Instagram and even government bodies have already established guidelines and regulations that require individuals to disclose sponsorship/paid advertising, this doesn’t always happen. Instagram influencers often use evasive language or inconspicuously disclose their sponsorship.

In a move to protect consumers further, Instagram is currently trialling a new format for paid/sponsored content that allows for greater transparency.

Below an influencers name will appear a banner that disclaims the post is sponsored as well as who the sponsor is. Not only will this format benefit consumers but it also allows brands to gain performance insights of their sponsored posts as an added tool.

There is no doubt that this push for transparency has bristled some brands but it is encouraging to know that Instagram is still maintaining the interests of their consumers. The new format is to roll out in the next few weeks and it will be interesting which brands and influencers decide to adopt to this change.