After starting their initial roll-out of their branded sponsorship tools back in June, Instagram has this week announced that they’re broadening access to the option to “Instagrammers with high levels of engagement and access to insights”. What, exactly, that means is hard to say, but the update will give many more users access to the branded content tag option. While at the same time, Instagram’s upping its measures to ensure people use it.
As per Instagram:
“Over the past few months, we've been monitoring community sentiment and businesses and creators using the branded content tool. What we've learned is the branded content tool provides valuable insights to businesses, and is making it easier for creators like Xenia Tchoumi (@xenia) to clearly communicate when they are working in partnership with a business.”
Instagram already expanded access to the option back in September, but this new update will see it made available to an even broader set of users.
In addition, Instagram has also announced that they’ll be using automated prompts to detect when and where the tags should be applied – and if they’ve not been used, they’ll let users know.
“Now creators that have access to the branded content tool will receive in-app notifications when our systems find content that falls outside of our policy. In these cases, the content's creator will be notified through the Instagram app and will have the option to tag a business.”
Instagram’s keen to get a handle on paid posts and ensure there’s better transparency, in order to keep users informed. Parent company Facebook has obviously come under a lot of pressure of late over political ads, for which they’ve also added new transparency options. Instagram’s tools are more focused towards celebrity endorsements – the Kardashians, for example, have been targeted for their lack of disclosure on paid promotions.
Image via PetaPixel
These new tools will help Instagram work with the rise of influencer marketing, similar to how they work on Facebook.
Greater transparency will help enhance trust in the ads provided on social networks, ensuring consumers are fully aware of any such arrangement, and allowing them to make more informed choices.
And with more than 800 million users, and growing fast, you can bet a growing number of brands are looking to Instagram influencers to help spread their message.