The increasingly blurred lines between sponsored and non-sponsored posts in the “age of the influencer” has, so far, cast a long shadow on the social media community’s attitude to honesty and legal disclosure.
Until Wednesday, Instagram as a company did nothing to police the rampant posting of sponsored content to its 700 million daily users, with influencers forced to invent their own hashtags that indicated as much, without any prevailing consistency – common examples have so far included #ad, #spon and #sp as feeble attempts to mark a sponsored post.
Now, the platform has officially hatched a solution. Launched this week, after a testing phase which began back in February, a tag can now be added to the top of any sponsored post that clearly states its affiliation with the words, “Paid partnership with [insert brand].”
Although Instagram won’t be enforcing the use of the tag as yet, the addition goes a long way to making clear the obviously mutually beneficial relationship between influencer and their branded sponsors.