The social media platform now tells you when a blogger’s post is sponsored
If you’re under the influence of Instagram, you’ll no longer be duped by sponsored posts.
Instagram is testing out a new feature that might change the way you think about the people you follow.
Select influencers now have the opportunity to clarify when they’re being paid to promote a brand or product. Instead of posting #ad or #sponsored at the end of a lengthy caption—the new feature adds a line at the top of the post indicating that it’s a paid partnership.
In April, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent out more than 90 letters to influencers and marketers reminding them to clearly disclose when they’re being paid to endorse or promote a brand or product through Instagram posts. Instead of using #ad or #sp to denote a paid endorsement—the FTC urged influencers to employ more prominent methods of transparency.
Instagram’s head of global creative platforms, Charles Porch tells Moneyish, “What we hear from creators is that having a framework to more easily tag a business partner and share insights, particularly in stories, would be a benefit.”
Lifestyle blogger Natalie Thomas of @natsnextadventure tells Moneyish the new tool will help keep everyone accountable. “I’m all about transparency with my followers. I only work with brands that I personally like, use and can vouch for, regardless of payment and have said no infinitely more times than yes when it comes to accepting sponsorships, but I know that’s not the case for everyone,” says Thomas who works with brands like Baby Bjorn, Land of Nod and Artifact Uprising.
Digital marketing specialist Sonia Langlotz of Sonia Langlotz Branding doesn’t think the new feature will negatively impact companies who partner with influencers or VIPs. “Most brands are on board with being transparent. If they’re not, I explain this to them; If your sponsorship is with someone that is truly the right fit, adding a disclosure of some kind shouldn’t affect the outcome of the partnership. Consumers and followers aren’t stupid, they know people get paid for various types of posts. Only when the partnership is out of character for the influencer is when you start to see consumers reacting negatively,” says Langlotz.
Influencer marketing is on the rise according to digital research and data firm eMarketer. The site predicts that social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion in 2017. According to a 2016 Bloglovin survey, 32% of marketing professionals see influencer campaigns as essential to their strategies and 41% say they’ve seen more success in influencer campaigns than in traditional advertising methods.
Celebrities are no strangers to sponsored content. Forbes estimates that Kylie Jenner receives an average of $300k per Instagram post. According to TheTalko, Scott Disick makes $15k to post about about BooTea UK protein smoothies systems while Gigi Hadid, who has almost 35 million followers, rakes in $250k when she posts about Reebok sneakers or Vogue Eyewear.
There’s no shortage of money at stake in the sponsorship game. Langlotz says, “I’ve contracted influencers for $250 and some for $15k and well upwards of that. It really depends on the depth of the partnership and the reach of the influencer. The most I’ve seen a blogger—not a celebrity—receive for a single Instagram post is $15k.
“Since starting my blog almost three years ago, I’ve accepted as little as a couple hundred dollars and have made as much as $5k to $10k but it’s all dependent on expectations like the amount of posts, social photos, videos and if I’m hosting an event,” says Thomas.
When it comes to Instagram’s long term goal of employing the new feature, Porch says, “We want to understand how these tagged posts are received by the community as well as enable business partners and creators to improve their branded content with access to performance metrics. This is the first step in a journey for us.”
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