Instagram Is Clamping Down on Sneaky Sponsored Posts

Instagram Is Clamping Down on Sneaky Sponsored Posts

Sneaky advertising is annoying. People often use their social media following to their advantage, featuring paid content to promote products, but the problem is that they often don't disclose that, leaving the consumer possibly tricked into believing it's an honest endorsement. With both the FTC and Instagram itself taking notice of this problematic trend, the company is introducing a new feature to help eliminate the issue. 

Influencer marketing has become a huge industry, with top-level Instagram users receiving thousands of dollars for a single post. Whether through temptation or lack of awareness, many posts violate FTC guidelines that require they divulge the nature of paid content. Instagram is addressing this issue by introducing a new feature that allows users to easily tag sponsored content (which also displays an associated label to viewers) and automatically links metrics and insights on the post to both the creator and the associated business. 

Altogether, I think it's a good step forward. I certainly wouldn't appreciate it if I followed a photographer I admired and they secretly advertised a product as if they independently endorsed it. I'm glad to see Instagram cracking down on such misrepresentations.

Read more about it over on the Instagram Business Blog.

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15 Comments

I think the real problem is the massive amount of real sponsored items in my feed recently.

Yes, I need an instagram ad blocker too.

Ugh isn't it the worst? My feed is full of them now, sometimes every few is a sponsored ad. Adblockers would be very welcome but impossible to implement

olivier borgognon's picture

I think it's more economical as Instagram will then find a way to reduce visibility of these posts and promote sponsored content, thus increasing their advertising profits. Not sure it is really helpful as if we read between the lines, we see who is getting stuff and who is just enjoying using the gear and talking about it because they believe in the product.

But the article is interesting in the sense that it brings out the potential issue, which is US based, on a global worldwide audience.

I need an IG ad blocker or something.... it's the actual paid for adverts that creep into the feed that annoy me..... I don't care about influencer advertisements. I'd never buy from them anyway...

I wonder if they will add a premium service like youtube red

Of course, it's all about dollars...

I get such a kick out of the influencers who obviously are just shills for anyone who will pay. "OMG, girl, I'm just o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with this *super* cute pair of Fiskars scissors."

This made me LOL after Andrew Griswold's recent love for Mcdonalds . . .

Sean Gibson's picture

and lets be clear, Instagram is cracking down on it because they are not making any money from it.

Alessandro Carpentiero's picture

The only "big problem" is that Instagram is not gaining any money from those posts, and they definitely want to change that.
Afterall Influencers are somehow competing with the ADs IG wants to sell to brands (although I don't see how an influencer's post can be compared to a brand sponsored post - they do have quite some differences).

I once loved IG and did several jobs as an influencer (I never sponsored products/services I don't like or I wouldn't use myself), but now they simply want to milk the cow, not caring about the people who invested years in the platform to create an engaged community, nor for sure compensate their effort.

William Howell's picture

I love ads, as long as they're targeted to what I want to see. I don't think these types of ads are targeted, so they, (the influencers), are just shills and most everyone sees through this type of advertising.

You have a point here, targeted. But even then I don't want to see targeted ads either. If I need something I will do my own research, and don't want to spend research time on Instagram. Instagram was my personal leisure time, calmly looking at mine and friends photographs... Not anymore!

Instagram has just become the biggest and meanest sneaky spammer on the planet. Sneaky? Not really. Before I had only friends in my feed, now I am inundated with spam posts coming from people I don't even know, with stuff that I don't want to know about, and I don't get to see my friends posts anymore... It's becoming very evident that Instagram will die a slow death because in the end I will not be staying.And with me a lot of others. Can we not have one friggin platform that has no ads and where we can get our feed back in chronological order? So disgusting. Looking to my Instagram has become a chore over the last days. I REPORT EVERY SINGLE SPONSORED POST AS SPAM... Yes it takes time, but if we all would do that we might be able to change it back to what it was. Hmmm, maybe I am wanting a Unicorn... If the worst comes to the worst, I am willing to pay for an Instagram ad blocker. We should not have to, but that seems to be the way of the world now. Everything "free" has to be ruined... I also will never buy through a sponsored post. I can make my own mind up. Instagram does not have to do it for me...

William Howell's picture

I really like the part of your comment about "reporting as spam", but there are only 24hours in a day. I think your point of Instagram dying a slow death is more likely to happen.

Now take YouTube for instance, almost every ad that is presented to me is something I want to see. You know ads about new gear on the market and such, that I really like. But these intrusive ads, not so much.