When Facebook took over Instagram, it was clear it would adopt the same changes seen in Facebook news feeds that are known so well. Algorithms push certain stories higher in feeds, rather than displaying them in chronological order. Now, sponsored posts will be clearly labelled in a bid to out paid product placement on the platform.
Alongside today’s announcement of Instagram Archives, the company has announced that it will properly label all sponsored stories on the platform.
When restrictions on companies paying influencers for posts started to come in, users would simply tag photos with #ad or, more subtly, #sp to comply. This still allowed product placement to fly under the radar of many admirers. Instagram has grown tired of Insta-famous users who imply genuine passion for a product in return for a check. Now, such users must officially label such relationships through the app’s settings when they create a post.
“This is the first step in a journey as we learn how the community engages with this new tool – and our focus is on gathering feedback,” says Instagram. “We’re initially partnering with a small number of creators and businesses and we will make these tools widely available in the coming months along with an official policy and enforcement guidelines.
“The new tool will allow a creator to quickly tag the business they have a relationship with. The post or story will appear with a sub-header that reads ‘Paid partnership with,’ followed by a tag to the business partner’s account.”
Companies will be able to view engagement statistics of their own, now being properly linked to the post. This change could mark the decline of the Instagram influencer market, weeding out those clinging desperately onto the bandwagon. With relationships now clearly labelled, the conversion rate of companies in their subtle adverts will most likely decrease.