Instagram announced today a number of updates to the way it distributes and labels branded content that it says are intended to make creation and amplification easier for influencers and brands alike.
First, Instagram is bringing branded content tags — which disclose that posts have been paid for as part of a partnership — to its TikTok-like product, Reels. To that end, Instagram said it will begin testing branded content tags within its Live video product as well in coming weeks. (Both are pictured above). Instagram also said it would roll out new age restrictions for branded content, enabling both businesses and creators to set a minimum age for their branded content feed posts, which can also be set to vary from country to country.
“Branded content is a powerful tool for creators and businesses, and these updates will help them get more out of the content they’re creating together,” Instagram COO Justin Osofsky said in a statement. “This will continue to be an area of focus for us as we build out a suite of monetization tools that support creators’ various needs and ambitions.”
In another addition, Instagram is updating Branded Content Ads — a format launched in June 2019, in which ads that were organically published by a creator to her own account can then be amplified across the wider Instagram ecosphere by advertisers. In addition to the financial benefits, such ads drive visibility and discovery for creators, Instagram says. Branded Content Ads can appear in feeds and in Instagram Stories.
Previously, a creator needed to post the ad organically in order for it to be amplified by a brand partner. But now, a new workflow will enable businesses to create Branded Content Ads without a creator posting it to her account first. Of course, creators can approve or pause any ads that have been published from their handle.
Also on the Branded Content Ads front, businesses can now integrate product tags — or shoppable links to products featured in posts that serve to streamline the ecommerce progress. Before today, Instagram notes, branded posts from creators that included product tags were not able to be promoted via Branded Content Ads. And finally, Instagram is making Branded Content Ads more sophisticated in Stories, adding tappable elements including @mentions, location information, and hashtags.
As Osofsky said, Instagram continues to launch new monetization products for creators, including — most recently — Badges in Live product as well as an ad rev share for IGTV. That said, both of these features are only available to select creators for the time being.