Instagram’s New Native Advertising Feature: A Necessary Step Toward Transparency

Opinion: Instagram’s new sponsored post feature is a step in the right direction to eliminate some of the risks associated with native advertising

Native Instagram posts—those paid for by brands but posted by influencers—are about to look a bit different, and that’s a good thing.

An update introduced by Instagram earlier this month provides brands and influencers with the option to call out that posts are sponsored. Influencers can now tag brands in their posts and, if the brands confirm the relationship, the post will be marked accordingly.

The callout will appear at the top of the post (where you’d tag a location) and within Instagram Stories, noting that the content was “paid in partnership with …” This feature is a response to recent transparency issues surrounding the practice of native advertising.

Previously, there was no official way for people to distinguish between a native sponsored post and an organic one, which led to questions about the ethics behind native advertising strategies: Is native advertising potentially deceiving consumers?

The Federal Trade Commission says yes.



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