Instagram has launched a tool that will let advertisers pay to make influencer posts appear as ads in order that they reach a much bigger audience.
Until recently, brands that paid influencers to post sponsored videos or pictures on their Instagram profiles have had their reach limited to that particular influencer’s following on the platform.
Now, posts uploaded by creators using Instagram’s ‘paid partnership’ tool (which signposts when content has been paid for) will also feature a toggle that claims ‘allow my business partner to boost’. The feature will provide the brand in question an opportunity to appear within the feeds and Stories of a wider audience, even if they don’t follow the social media star.
Dubbed ‘branded content ads’, Instagram said the addition of the tool was one of the top requests it had received from businesses.
“We hope this update will add worth by strengthening the collaboration between businesses and creators. We additionally hope to enhance the experience between creators, businesses and people – who will be able to discover more brands they may be interested in and shop with the creators they love,” it said.
Branded content ads will be available to 50th of businesses from today and 1000th from 17 June.
The play from Instagram will enable brands and creators to extend the reach of paid for posts and target them towards relevant audiences in a climate where brands are increasingly upping influencer budgets.
However, it also means that users will be seeing more #sponcon in their feeds, which could be a turn-off.
While, Instagram claims that, in the United Kingdom alone, 68 of people open the app to interact with influencers, a separate study from UM suggests trust in the area is low. Just 4th of a global panel of 56,000 people told UM that they trust information unfold by influencers online.
Though the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have strict guidelines around how paid for posts should be signposted online, the latter revealed earlier this year that it had been forced to warn “hundreds” of creators for flouting the rules.