Updated: December 19, 2019 8:30:25 pm
Influencers on Instagram and Facebook will no longer be allowed to promote vaping, tobacco products or weapons. Instagram announced that it will no longer allow “branded content” that promotes these goods on either platform.
Both the platforms already ban ads for guns and e-cigarettes but now they are shutting down a loophole that allowed companies to promote their products by approaching users with large follower counts better known as “influencers”.
“Our advertising policies have long prohibited the advertisement of these products, and we will begin enforcement on this in the coming weeks,” Instagram said in a post on Wednesday. The platform says that it’s also working on tools to help creators honour the new policy, such as setting minimum age requirements.
In June, Instagram rolled out “branded content ads,” allowing brands to turn influencers’ sponsored content posts into ads to allow the brands to reach a bigger audience. These posts appear with a “paid partnership” tag together with the brand’s name. While Instagram does not take a cut of partnerships between influencers and brands, it makes money from branded content ads.
In its announcement, Instagram also said it’s expanding the branded content tools. Facebook’s “Brands Collabs Manager” tool used by Facebook creators will now open up to a select group of Instagram influencers as well allowing them to share metrics with brands and find companies for work.
“We recognize like counts are an important metric for creators, and are actively working to give professional accounts the flexibility to share relevant engagement metrics, including like counts, with their business partners through new account settings,” Instagram said in a blog post.
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