Instagram Makes It Easier for Influencers to Label Sponsored Posts

Instagram - Phone -Getty-H 2019

The FTC has been cracking down on social media stars who don't disclose paid posts.

In April, the Federal Trade Commission sent letters to more than 90 social media celebrities reminding them that they must "clearly and conspicuously" disclose when posts are part of paid sponsorships or other advertising campaigns. But a study from marketing firm Mediakix in May revealed that 93 percent of posts from the top 50 Instagram influencers did not meet the FTC's rules. 

Now, Instagram is adding a feature to help its top users be more transparent about when they're getting paid to post. The Facebook-owned app is adding giving influencers the option of adding a "paid partnership" tag to their posts and Stories. 

The new tool will add a subhead below a creator's name indicating that the post is a paid partnership and the name of the affiliated brand. Tagging a brand in this way will also it to give access to analytics about the performance of the post, including reach and engagement information.

The paid partnerships tag is rolling out with a handful of creators and media companies, including Aimee Song and BuzzFeed's Tasty, which will test it before it becomes more widely available to other top Instagram users. 

Charles Porch, who heads global creative programs at Instagram, says the initial launch is the first step in a longer process to make it easier for creators to work with brands. "People want to be transparent with their fans," he says. "They're building a really strong relationship with the people who follow them, and they want to transparently communicate when there's a value exchange."