Instagram is Adding Transparency to Influencer Marketing

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A tool will tag sponsored posts, and provide brands and influencers with access to analytics.

Instagram is Adding Transparency to Influencer Marketing
Instagram is Adding Transparency to Influencer Marketing

It seems that a better influencer marketing system — one with more transparency and accountability — is rising from the ashes of the infamous  Fyre Festival, because Instagram announced this week that it will begin rolling out a new paid partnerships tool

The tool will give brands and influencers access to performance metrics of partner posts, and many of the ad analytics that marketers have grown used to on other platforms. Crucially, the tool will also tag sponsored posts as such, bringing a level of transparency to influencer marketing on the network that has been in high demand; especially after in the wake of Fyre Festival, when lawsuits were flying freely between influencers and event organizers alike. 

The paid partnership tool is also a clear and concerted effort on Instagram’s part to adhere to FTC guidelines that called for influencers with “material connection” to brands to make that connection clear. By and large, this hasn’t been happening – and clearly wasn’t happening in the lead-up to Fyre Festival. 

“This is a big step in addressing the ad transparency issue the FTC recently raised for native ads,” says Jason Nesbitt, VP of media and agency operations at Strike Social. “Although [Fyre Festival] wasn’t Instagram’s fault, it’s encouraging to see the platform make the effort to bridge the gap and make it easier for brands and influencers to use the platform legally for sponsored content.” 

It’s unclear whether this will prevent another Fyre Festival on its own, but it definitely seems social networks are working toward a more transparent and accountable ecosystem for digital marketing — something brands have been clamoring for since Facebook and Google began commanding the lion’s share of all digital marketing spend.

“We’re seeing an increased demand for ad transparency these days. And Instagram clearly identifying sponsored content is a smart move. The truth is that 83% of Americans  will blame brands for misleading promotions. Instagram’s decision will only improve brands’ relationships with customers.” Nesbitt says.

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