Instagram has long had rules restricting advertisers from promoting tobacco, vaping and weapons, but influencers have been exempt from those restrictions—until now.
As the L.A. Times reports, “Instagram, owned by Facebook Inc., has long allowed people with thousands or even millions of followers to operate their own sponsored-content operations, outside the Facebook ad-buying system, without the level of oversight applied to the rest of the company’s advertising. For years, the company felt that if an influencer had cultivated an audience willing to hear their messages, Facebook shouldn’t get in the way.
“However, there’s been a surge of sponsored content promoted by influencers, so Instagram wants to “establish clear rules to help protect our community,” at least when it comes to vaping, weapons and tobacco, according to a spokeswoman. Facebook already has rules against such products in its official advertising programs.”
In addition, Instagram’s blog post detailing the changes says there will be special restrictions on the promotion of alcohol and diet supplements. The company is building tools to help influencers comply with the new rules, which will go into effect next year.