A brand new tool has officially been launched by the popular social media platform Instagram. This tool will enable advertisers to pay a fee in order to turn influencer posts into branded ads on Instagram. By utilizing this option, they will be able to reach a much wider audience.

Previously, brands that had paid influencers to post sponsored images or videos on their official Instagram accounts only had their reaches limited to their influencer’s following. With the brand new “paid partnership” tool, uploaded posts will now feature a special toggle with the option to “allow my business partner to boost.” This allows the brand to appear in both Instagram Stories and feeds of a much broader audience. This will apply whether or not an Instagram user follows a specific individual.

Instagram released the following statement regarding the “paid partnership” tool, announcing that it was one of the most highly-requested features the company received from businesses:

“We hope this update will add value by strengthening the collaboration between businesses and creators. We also hope to improve the experience between creators, businesses, and people – who will be able to discover more brands they may be interested in and shop with the creators they love.”

These “branded content ads” were immediately available to 50% of all businesses and rolled out to the rest beginning on June 17.

Prior to brands being able to use the influencer posts as advertisements, the creator of the content will first need to grant their business partners access to promote the posts. This can be done via the Advanced Settings page. Once this has been done, brands will then be able to see the posts from an influencer in the Ads Manager under the “Existing Posts” section. From there, they will be able to run the content as an advertisement either in an Instagram Story or a normal newsfeed post.

Anytime that a brand chooses to use an influencer post as an advertisement, the post itself will include a “paid partnership” tag and the name of the brand in the post. Some Instagram users are not enthusiastic about seeing more #sponcon in their feeds, which is the main downside of this update to user experience.

Instagram had first confirmed that they were testing the branded content ads back in March; however, the company had only made the format available to specific advertisers at that time. Additionally, Instagram also recently started testing the removal of “Like” counts from posts on the platform. This is a move that many influencer marketing agencies claim will end up resulting in an increase in higher-quality content that will come from influencers.

Recently, a report from the global AI company Socialbakers showed that influencers on Instagram are posting approximately 150% more sponsored content over last year. Additionally, a further study from Ipsos conducted by Facebook shows that approximately 68% of those who use Instagram on a daily basis shows that they use the app specifically to interact with other individuals.

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