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What Instagram’s New ‘Paid Partnership’ Feature Means for Brands, Influencers, and Users

Instagram recently introduced its new ‘Paid Partnership’ tag, which allows celebrities and influencers to be more transparent about their relationship with the brands they are advertising. Although this feature is currently only accessible to a select group of Instagram all-stars, it will become available to the public in the upcoming months. So, what does this change mean for brands, influencers, and Instagram users?

For brands, this new feature will effectively provide more exposure by creating a partnership with an influencer or celebrity. Since the tag appears above the Instagram photo, where a geotag would normally be placed, it is often the first thing people tend to see when scrolling through their feeds. The tag can also be used in an Instagram story, which allows for additional branding. It also gives the specified influencer extra places to tag the brand’s Instagram page, thereby helping increase its following and engagement.

For influencers, the ‘Paid Partnership’ tag is a bit of a catch-22. Yes, the tag allows influencers to be more transparent, and followers can easily see that payment or rewards were exchanged for the promotion of a product. On the other hand, it makes it more obvious that an influencer’s post or opinion may be slightly biased. Ultimately, this is still a great way for influencers to continue making extra cash through Instagram advertising while complying with the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It should also be noted that with the addition of this feature, more brands may be more willing to work with influencers. So, those with large followings may begin to see an increase in paid partnership offers.

When using the ‘Paid Partnership’ tag, it is important for every influencer to have a good mixture of posts. This way, those posts that include paid partnerships are balanced by posts that do not. As a result, people will still want to follow influencers because their pages won’t be cluttered with too many paid promotions.

For the every-day Instagram user, this feature makes it easier to spot a paid partnership from an authentic post, which is a great help in making purchase decisions. When it comes down to it, people are more likely to purchase an item that is being authentically advertised by a celebrity or influencer who is not being paid or rewarded, but if the content they see makes them want to purchase a product, they may do so regardless.

Furthermore, brands and influencers must make sure their content is creative and engaging. If it isn’t, people may be less likely to purchase or research the product that is being promoted because they won’t be able to look past the fact that someone was paid to post about the brand. By including an image or video that is engaging and interesting, people may be distracted from the ‘Paid Partnership’ tag and still may become customers.

Overall, the ‘Paid Partnership’ tag feature is necessary as Instagram influencers and celebrities can properly comply with the FTC’s guidelines. Although there are drawbacks, this is a great step toward social transparency and credibility on a platform where influencer marketing is so popular.

Is your brand considering a paid partnership with a celebrity or influencer? Speak to a member of our team to learn more!