Instagram just announced functionality updates that are important for advertisers, particularly those working with third party Creators (like influencers).

Here’s what you need to know:

Content posted in Instagram Reels can now be labeled with the "Paid Partnership" slug using Instagram's Branded Content Tool. (This same update is coming to Instagram Live in the coming weeks.) This is good news, but remember that, while use of the Paid Partnership label can be a helpful way to increase transparency around paid relationships, the FTC's position is that the platform feature alone is not necessarily an effective way for Creators to make material connection disclosures, and that the ultimate responsibility for disclosure rests with the brand and Creator.

Branded Content ads in Stories can now include tap-able elements, such as @mentions, location and hashtags. This is great news for brands looking to include more campaign-specific elements in a Creator's Story posts.

Brands can now put product tags in Branded Content posts.  This helps brands, as it makes it easy for users to shop directly from Branded Content.

And, perhaps most importantly, brands will now be able to sign off on and post Creator content themselves. As you may remember, Instagram already allowed advertisers to run Creators' Branded Content posts as ads, but it required Creators to first post on Instagram and the brand to put money behind that existing post. This week, Instagram launched a new workflow where advertisers can create Branded Content ads without the need for Creators to first post organically. Here's how it works:

  • An Advertiser sends a request to a Creator on Instagram for “Ad Creation Access”
  • The Creator grants the Advertiser such access
  • A notification is then sent to the Advertiser upon the grant by Creator
  • The Advertiser creates an Instagram post (an Ad) and sends the Ad to the Creator for their approval
  • Creator receives a notification that an Ad has been created for their approval
  • Creator approves or rejects the Ad
  • If approved, the Ad gets published from the Creator’s handle on Instagram using the Branded Content Tool
  • Note, however, that the Creator may, at any time, pause any Ads published from their handle in their own discretion

Going forward, if you are representing an advertiser in a deal where the creation of branded Instagram posts are at play, make sure to contemplate this new functionality, and ensure that you are accurately describing the way the parties plan use any Branded Content ads.