Instagram cracks down on undisclosed celebrity endorsements
Mar 03, 2017 - NEWS
Olivier Stapylton-Smith

With Instagram recently reaching 600 million monthly active users, it's become one of the largest platforms for brands to work with influencers for advertising purposes. However, with #spon and #ad being inconsistently used, Instagram are set to release a new feature called 'Partner Tags' to help brands and influencers work together.

For companies looking to increase their reach, influencer marketing is the most effective way to gain both exposure, and trust, through a specific audience. Since influencers have higher followings than most brands, these effective partnerships can take a brand from zero to hero in just a few posts.  

Influencer promoting brand example

However, the transparency of influencer-brand promotions has become a little blurred in recent months, as many paid-for posts by influencers aren't being fully disclosed. Some claim that these posts are in direct violation of FTC Advertising guidelines which state that partnerships need to be made obvious to audiences.   

Although given the nature of social media and that people can post from countries with different guidelines, these rules have become increasingly harder to enforce. Instagram actively wants brands and influencers to work together on the platform but it also wants all posts to be visibly disclosed as either paid for or organic. After all, Instagram gained over 1 million users in the first 2 months as a place to edit and share beautiful photos with fellow users - not as an advertising platform.

Instagram is taking steps to improve this though with the testing of their new ‘Partner Tags’ button which will enable influencers to tag brands in their posts. This will work in a similar fashion to Facebook’s page tagging feature which makes it clear whether a post is being sponsored by a brand.

Instagram partner tagging brands feature

If Instagram follows Facebook’s example then the ‘Partner Tag’ may use audience data from both the influencer and the brand to filter who sees the post and continue to make your news feed more personal to you. Given Facebook’s recent changes to how reactions affect your news feed, one major priority for the owners of Instagram is to keep your news feed tailored to you and your interests.

The details of 'Partner Tags' have been kept under wraps so far but let us know what you think of them over on our Instagram page @moteefe

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