With influencer marketing on the rise, the major social platforms are trying to find ways to provide increased transparency on paid or sponsored posts, in order to help both users and brands maximize on their opportunities (and stay within FTC guidelines).
Last year, Facebook introduced a new option which enables selected Pages to tag third party sponsors in their posts to ensure such connection is clear.
As you can see, the brand is tagged within the post and is listed in the top headline, denoting that this is sponsored content. Once tagged, both the creator and the tagged brand are able to access post-level insights, and both have the option of sharing and/or boosting the post.
This enables more flexibility around such arrangements - the only catch is that thus far it's only available to verified Pages and profiles. But now, Facebook's extending the option to more Pages, with all Page owners now able to apply for access, and many Pages being provided with the tag option automatically.
If you have access, the new Branded Content tags will be at the bottom of your post composer (as noted, if you don't have access, you can apply here).
Once you tap or click on the icon, you'll be given a quick explanation of what the tag entails to ensure you're aware of the system.
You can then tag whichever Page you want - they'll show up as a 'with' mention, just like the Lady Gaga example above.
Facebook notes that once your Page is deemed eligible for Branded Content tags, you need to adhere to their platform policies around the use the branded content - there's more information on this via the Help Center or in Facebook's policy documentation.
In addition to this, Facebook's also updated their branded content post tags, adding the word 'Paid' in the header for increased clarity.
"Our goal with this change is to make it clear to people that branded content posts represent an exchange of value between the publisher and a third party."
Facebook's also announced some updates to their Branded Content Policy in order to allow logos, watermarks, and graphical overlays to be displayed throughout a video post. Previously, logos and watermarks weren't allowed to appear in the first three seconds of a video.
And on enforcement, Facebook has also updated how violations of their Branded Content policy will be actioned:
"Pages that post branded content in violation of our policies will get a notification letting them know what needs to be corrected. We will no longer remove violating posts; instead, violating posts will still appear on a publisher's Page, but will be hidden from News Feed. Publishers can restore News Feed visibility by fixing the violation."
As noted, with influencer and sponsored posts becoming more common, all of the major platforms are looking into ways to increase transparency, while also facilitating the partnership process. Instagram's currently testing similar partner tags, while Snapchat's also rolling out collaborator tools which may grow to include 'Sponsored' tags.
Really, such transparency is a required element, though it may make things a little more complex for influencer agencies and those seeking to capitalize on every opportunity. For users, however, it'll make it much easier to understand - it won't necessarily lessen the impact of the message, but it'll provide more context as to what each post is about.