Instagram is cracking down on influencer advertising. But is it enough?
Up until now influencers have been required by the FCC to add #ad or #sponsored to posts they were paid to create. Sadly though, few did. Often though people would call them out for being the fakers they were and everytime I seen that happen I'd giggle a bit. Been a long time coming for this one if you ask me but now Instagram will post under the users name if it's an ad or now. There is no way to force this so users could continue their shaddy ways but it's nice to know that it's happeneing. There's far too much fakery online today so if you see someone selling that load of BS call them out. They deserve it.
Is what Instagram doing enough though? Here's the deal. It's near impossible to grow to large following on any of the big socials right now. The companies behind the network know how much money is to be made by advertising and know that if someone gains massive traction online the individual is in power more than the network. Problem when someone gains massive following is that you don't know how much of what they are telling is truth or if they are being paid behind the scenes. I don't know if what Instagram is doing is enough to stop the fakery on their network but I also don't trust them at all. Regarding the big influencers, most don't even know how to run a business, trading posts for product or worse yet getting paid and not disclosing that. There's no real way to know if what you're seeing in the feed is real or not so I suggest to have a healthy suspicion that what you see is fake and it is an ad unless you actually know the person.
In my sponsored posts I did disclose with the proper tags (see above) but a gray area comes up with content I shot with my Panasonic (and before that Olympus) cameras. I was not being paid directly but I did get gear as part of my contact however there was no requirement that I had to post in exchange for that gear. I posted because I wanted to share.
Remember, social networks change. They are in the business but you ARE the business. Put your biggest effort into your website. I'm a big fan of Squarespace which is what I use (I have no business relationship with Squarespace) but use what works for you. Your website is your social network.