Instagram influencers have a lot of power in the modern world. However, some are misusing this power. An investigation by a UK watchdog shows that the Instagram platform is frequently misleading consumers.
The Power of Instagram Influencers
We live in an age in which Instagram influencers have a huge reach. It is reported that 98% of Generation Z own a smartphone with Instagram on tap every second of the day. Even these “micro-influencers” with a following of up to 100k can drive 8x more engagement than celebrities. Subsequently, markets have capitalised on these spokespeople. The average Instagram influencers can earn anywhere between $30,000 to $100,000 annually by promoting products on their pages. Those with more than 1 million followers can make as much as $250,000 per sponsored post.
Now, Instagram is clamping down on influencer posts. Recent research shows that over three quarters of influencer adverts on Instagram may be burying disclosures in their posts. Additionally, an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) shows that many influencers are not following regulations. As such, consumers are being frequently misled.
Instagram pledges to do more to catch influencers failing to disclose when they are being paid for posts. This is already starting to be rolled out across the UK with social-media influencers using the hashtag ‘#ad’ in any sponsored posts. Instagram said they will start to report users who are failing to adequately label their posts or tag the businesses whose products they are endorsing.
New Tools from Instagram
Going forward, Instagram influencers will need to disclose if they received any incentives in order to promote a particular product or service. Over the next year, Instagram will need to approve any influencer posts before publishing. This marks an important change for social-media platforms. They say that with great power comes great responsibility. It seems that social media platforms are starting to take their responsibility to the public more seriously. With an alarmingly high usage, particularly from the younger and more impressionable generation, social media platforms have a responsibility to protect their users.