Last year, we posted that four consumer groups had sent letters to FTC, encouraging the agency to “investigate and bring enforcement actions related to the practice of non-disclosed advertising through influencer user profiles on Instagram.” Earlier this year, the FTC responded by sending more than 90 letters to companies and influencers, reminding recipients of their obligation to disclose when posts are sponsored. Some of the letters addressed how the disclosures should appear on the Instagram platform. Now, Instagram is testing a tool designed to make the disclosures easier.
Instagram recently announced that that users will soon start to see a new “Paid partnership with” tag on posts and stories. This feature is intended to “help creators more clearly communicate to their followers when they are working in partnership with a business.” In addition to helping companies comply with FTC requirements, this tool is expected to offer other benefits. For example, when “partners use this tag, they will both have access to Insights to track exactly how their branded content posts and stories are performing. Creators will continue to see metrics in their Instagram Insights, and business partners will see shared reach and engagement metrics in their Facebook Page Insights.”
Currently, the tool is only available to a select number of users, but Instagram plans to collect feedback and to make the tool – along with an official policy – more widely available in the coming months.