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Instagram Announces New Crackdown on Influencers Who Fail to Disclose Commercial Partnerships



Following a recent investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority, Instagram has vowed to do more to protect consumers by ensuring that influencers disclose commercial relationships within their posts.

In the UK, and in many other nations, influencers are required to flag commercial arrangements by tagging their posts with #ad or #sponsored. But the CMA has found that many don’t do this. That could see Instagram itself face legal action – and in order to avoid such, Instagram has vowed to increase its action on sponsored posts.

Instagram plans to tackle the issue on two fronts:

  • First, Instagram’s looking to add a new prompt which would require influencers to confirm whether they’ve received incentives to promote a product or service before they can publish their post
  • Instagram’s also developing new algorithms to detect potential advertising content. It would then look to alert the relevant business, informing them of the platform rules around such

​This has been a long-standing concern – Instagram’s been working to address issues around proper disclosure in influencer marketing for years. Back in 2017, the platform added an option to tag a business partner in your post, in order to provide more clarity around such. 

Instagram partner tags

But as noted, many users still fail to adhere to the rules – and even when people do actually add the relevant tags, most still fail to meet the specific regulatory requirements.

A recent study found that more than three quarters of influencer promotions on Instagram hide the #ad or #sponsored disclosure beyond the main caption, meaning that users need to expand the text for the disclosure to be seen. According to regulations, influencer marketing labels need to be prominent enough that consumers will easily notice them, and hiding them lower down may actually still be in violation of official rules, and could also come under scrutiny.

Really, all influencer/brand partnerships, in all regions, should be required to use the partner tag, and I suspect that’s where Instagram will eventually move on this. But right now, the platform’s only committing to rolling out increased disclosure tools over the next year, and it’s not clear if the new measures will apply in all regions as yet.

But if you run influencer promotions, it may be worth tightening up your processes, and ensuring you’re providing clarity on partnerships ahead of the new push. The details may be unclear, but we do know that change is coming, and the expectations around such are likely to be ramped up very soon.


Pinterest Ends its Creator Rewards Program for Idea Pins



Pinterest Ends its Creator Rewards Program for Idea Pins

Pinterest has announced that it’s ending its Creator Rewards program, with the incentive offering set to shutter later this week.

Pinterest’s Creator Rewards scheme provided a means for creators to make money by creating themed Idea Pins, based on monthly prompts provided by Pinterest.

That enabled Pinterest to both encourage Idea Pin activity, and guide those Pins towards more engaging elements – but now, it’s moving on from the project.

As reported by The Information:

After the program’s conclusion on Wednesday, [Pinterest] will pay a one-time bonus to creators in the program who participated in at least one reward goal in August, September or October, a Pinterest spokesperson said. The company declined to share how much it was giving away in bonuses or how many people were part of the creator rewards program.”

Various social platforms have offered similar incentive schemes, with varying levels of success, but for the most part, they’ve eventually become unsustainable. Which, in some ways, is expected. Direct payments from the platforms are ideally designed help to guide creators into other monetization avenues, and are not geared towards building reliance on those payments themselves.

Snapchat has experienced similar issues with its Spotlight program, which is also now more aligned to specific thematic targets, while TikTok’s still working on the best way to ensure its top stars continue to get paid.

It is worth noting that this is separate from Pinterest’s $500k Creator Fund, which is another program designed to encourage creators to keep posting to the app.

The Creator Fund is specifically aimed at supporting Creators and communities ‘that have been disproportionately underrepresented’, and that program will continue on at this stage.

Cracking the code of creator funding is complex, especially in content formats that don’t support insertion of ads, where you can directly attribute revenue based on views. No platform has got this 100% right as yet, but more options are evolving, which could provide more avenues for sustainable creator funding in future.

But evidently, Pinterest found that this one wasn’t it. The program will shutter on Wednesday this week.

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