In light of the new rules implemented by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an American consumer interest agency, to crack down on celebrities and influencers being paid to post on Instagram while not disclosing partnerships, Instagram has announced that they are rolling out a ‘Paid Partnership’ tag. It’s all in an effort to to provide more transparency to the public and it’s the alternative to using #spon or #ad. Influencers and marketers were notified by the FTC about their legal obligation to “clearly and conspicuously” display and disclose their relationship with a promoted business.
The Federal Trade Commission found that the #spon or #ad hashtags were not being utilized properly. In fact, in 2016, Truth in Advertising, an American not-for-profit agency that protects consumers against false advertising, singled out the Kardashian-Jenner family for over 100 Instagram posts that were paid product placements that had not been disclosed as ads.
“As more and more partnerships form on Instagram, it’s important to ensure the community is able to easily recognize when someone they follow is paid to post content,” Instagram wrote in a blog post.
Instagram is working with “a small number of creators and businesses” on the paid-partnership tags. Celebrities/influencers will have a financial relationship with the business partner, and it will be clear that they were compensated for the post.The plan set in motion by the popular platform, owned by Facebook, is to add an official policy and enforcement guidelines, and to make the branded-content tools more available.
What does this mean for brands and influencers?
Until the new tag is implemented for all brands and influencers, paid partnerships will continue to be tagged with either #sponsored, #ad or #partner to ensure transparency. Using the ‘Paid Partnership with’ tag will provide an added perk for brands and influencers as they will both have access to Instagram Insights to track how these posts are performing and to help make informed decisions for future posts.
Interested in using the new feature? Here’s how it works:
If you are posting sponsored content, select “Advanced Settings” along the bottom of the caption screen. These advanced settings will have a new “Branded Content” section that says “Tag Business Partner.” When you choose that option, your partner’s name will be added where a location tag normally shows up. The same goes for a sponsored post in an Instagram Story.