By Kara DeBuona
On June 14th, Instagram announced the launch of their new partnership tool which will make it clear to everyone when a post has been paid for by an advertiser via a noticeable Paid Partnership with [brand] tag, placed directly below the influencer’s name in their feed. According to their company blog, Instagram will be rolling out this feature in the coming weeks.
So, why is this important? Well, lets start with the fact that Instagram has 700 million active users and of the posts those users are seeing, 93% of them are coming from top influencers but are not labeled clearly enough to adhere to FTC guidelines. Instagram knew it had to do something to protect advertisers and users and has been in beta with the product since February 2017. Surprisingly, there was no legal pressure to add the feature, and Instagram did not collaborate with the Federal Trade Commission.
The real reason this matters to marketers is data and analytics; the feature provides brands collaborative access to the same data as the influencers around a post’s reach and engagement, data that had not been available previously. This adds enormous value for brands, since this data will enable paid influencer posts to finally be measurable. Additionally, it allows brands with comparative data to determine which partners work hardest for their brands. Overall, marketers will finally be able to better evaluate and optimize influencer programs by tracking their ROI.
Although Instagram will not enforce the use of the new feature, we recommend onboarding compliance teams so all forthcoming influencer creative work can take full advantage of this feature as soon as it becomes widely available for use.
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