Money makes the world go around. An age-old adage that is sadly very true. Particularly in our increasingly digital time. In the past, the internet was fairly free of adverts. Now, you cannot move for adverts on the internet. Wherever you look you see people either crying out for adverts to be removed and cut down, or the businesses claiming they need these adverts to survive.
Social Media platforms were designed to bring us closer together. To allow us to connect and communicate with the people we loved most. Now they have become platforms for social change. Influencers use them to advance their image and sway popular opinion. And these social media platforms have also become a major platform for companies to advertise their products on.
Instagram is one of the most powerful advertising platforms out of all social media sites. The fact it is very image-based means companies can market their products directly. But another tactic they use is hiring people to advertise their products discreetly. But new rumors suggest that Instagram might be moving to ban sponsored content.
In recent years Instagram has been adding more and more features that allow users to connect with their followers. The live streaming functions of Instagram TV, and now the inclusion of reels that functions similarly to TikTok. All these extra features mean there are more opportunities for people to include sponsored content.
With such a variety of how to post on instagram, it is no wonder more and more people are flocking to the platform by the day.
It’s important to understand what kind of sponsored content they are looking to ban from their platform. Companies that are directly marketing their own product are well within their right to do so, as it is their account and their product. This type of advertising is not under threat, which is good news for smaller companies.
The big type of advertising they are trying to cut down on is stealth advertising. This is when a company pays a user to put their products in a live stream or their posts. The idea is to create an unnoticed association with their product in the viewer. But this type of content has been described as misleading. It is tantamount to trickery.
The rumors state that Instagram is going to follow the same trend as YouTube, which requires users to make it clear when their content is being sponsored. This means either saying it directly or adding a disclaimer. If they are found to be breaching these rules could face a potential ban from the platform.
Instagram is one of the leading social media platforms. So if they do make this change a permanent fixture of their platform, the theory is that more social media sites could follow suit. This could be especially useful for platforms such as Twitter which are drought with these stealth marketing tactics.
But many businesses are already looking to counter this move. Some are seeking to get more shares in these social media platforms to make sure they have a direct influence over what features the site implement. But a lot of governments are activley seeking to stop this. As social media becomes more influential, countires see it as a danger to allow any one company too much influence over the platforms, aside from their parent company of course.