Facebook-owned photo sharing platform Instagram announced in a blog post that it would be rolling out a new feature in the coming weeks. It will now clearly demarcate the difference between normal posts and paid posts. The app will start showing a “Paid partnership with” tag on posts, as well as the newly released Instagram stories, that are being monetized.

According to the social media platform, this new feature will be helpful to creators and sponsors and will give them a way to track and share insights they receive on particular posts. The tool is currently being tested with Buzzfeed and Aimee Song.Grow your instagram post engagement by adding popular tags in your photos.

This update comes following heavy criticism from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which has been warning several Instagram influencers this year regarding their lack of clarity when it came to disclosing whether a company was paying them to showcase a product or not. Over 90 warning letters have been sent out reminding users that they need to “clearly and conspicuously disclose” when their posts are sponsored. They are to use clear language and avoid ambiguity by saying things like “Thanks, [Sponsor Name Here]!”

The blog says,

In the coming months, we’ll also be launching an official policy and enforcement for creators to follow based off Facebook’s current practices

But, Instagram has stated that this new sponsorship feature is not the result of a collaboration with the FTC and is something it has initiated on its own. Instagram’s Creative Programs Director Charles Porch commented on these developments saying,

People are building amazing businesses on Instagram all over the world, at all sorts of scale. It’s important to ensure the community is able to easily recognize when someone they follow is paid to post content. 

Not only is this level of transparency beneficial for our community, but it also gives creators and businesses the ability to track and share insights around a partnered post

Right now, we’re still in phase one. The goal is to one, educate people and two, get a ton of feedback … There will be enforcement, but first we want to get feedback on how everyone reacts


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