Instagram wants to track dishonest influencers in the future

In the future, the photo app wants to take stronger action against influencers who do not mark sponsored posts as such.

Research by the United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) found that a large proportion of influencers on Instagram do not label sponsored posts as advertising. According to the report, users of the app are deliberately misled. Following the analysis, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, announced that the photo platform would examine the content of influencers more closely in the future.

Just like in other countries, influencers in Great Britain have to flag posts that were created in cooperation with a company and that promote a product or service. Many Instagrammers use the hashtags #ad or #sponsored – many, but not all. The CMA found that a shockingly large chunk of influencers didn’t mark their content as sponsored even though they were paid to post it. Instagram said it wanted to address this issue in two ways:

  1. Instagram plans to introduce a new verification tool. Before a post can be uploaded, influencers must indicate whether or not it was created in cooperation with a company
  2. The photo app is working on a new algorithm that recognizes advertising content. If there is no cooperation label, both the company and the influencer will receive a notification

Advertising on Instagram: Influencers lead users astray

Influencer marketing has increased significantly on Instagram in recent years. Therefore, the social media platform has been trying for some time to find a way how sponsored posts can be adequately identified. The company therefore introduced the option of being able to tag business partners in one post. The social network wanted to create more clarity for users. Nevertheless, many users and influencers do not adhere to the guidelines of Instagram or do not even postpone their cooperation partners in their content.

Instagram partner tags
© Instagram

A recent study has shown that more than three quarters of influencers on Instagram tag their promotional posts with the hashtags #ad or #sponsored. However, this identification is usually well hidden between all the other hashtags at the end of the caption. Users cannot immediately see whether the post is advertising or not. With this, a large part of the influencers violate the guidelines of Instagram. These state that a sponsored post must also be prominently marked as such.

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It is still unclear when Instagram will roll out the planned features for checking influencers. Anyone who already does influencer marketing on the platform should make sure that their own posts are labeled in accordance with the rules. Because although it is still unclear when Instagram will take the first tougher measures, it is certain that these will be implemented in the future.

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