Branded Content Tools on Instagram

Everyday, millions of people use Instagram to connect with their passions, creatively express themselves, and find visual inspiration. With over 80% of people following a business, brands are an important part of the Instagram community. Businesses and creators thrive on our platform because they're able to build relationships by tapping into their audience's interests and passions. One way we've seen businesses make meaningful connections is by partnering with creators (influencers and publishers) to launch branded content campaigns (also referred to as Influencer Marketing). Through these partnerships, Instagram users are able to learn about products and services from the voices of creators they follow.

We recently tested new tools to bring transparency and consistency to Branded Content on Instagram. The tools consist of a tag to help creators disclose when a post is the result of a partnership and insights to help businesses access the performance of their branded content campaigns. Ultimately, these tools bring transparency around Branded Content to the Instagram community.

We are expanding the access of our Instagram Branded Content tool to more of our creators (celebrities, influencers, public figures, publishers) and business partners. We are also expanding access to Insights to brands with an existing business page and are implementing new policy and enforcement rules. See the below feed example of songofstyle in partnership with amandawakeley and the stories example of HonestlyYum and Heinz.

Feed (2 line header)

Feed (3 line header)

Stories post

Branded Content Expansion Details

Our alpha test showed that businesses and creators value the transparency our branded content tools brought to the Instagram community. After further reviewing feedback from our alpha partners, we are expanding the access of the tool to more of our partners. This tool clearly communicates when a commercial relationship exists between a creator and a business. When a post is tagged, people will see “Paid partnership with [business partner]“ in the post's header. The global rollout will be gradual over the next few months.

Access to Insights: Tagged business partners will be able to see the reach and engagement (likes, comments) of these feed posts in their Facebook Page Insights. For Instagram Stories, tagged business partners will have a 14-day window to see the following metrics: reach, taps forward, taps backward, replies and exits. Creators will continue to see metrics in their app insights.

Policy and Enforcement: This will be the first time that Instagram has adopted a branded content policy. The new policy is the same as Facebook's updated policy announced on March 30th, 2017. In the coming weeks, Instagram will also begin enforcing branded content that is not properly tagged.

Partner Approvals: Additionally, we are launching Partner Approvals. This is intended for brand safety and will provide our business partners with the option to approve their creator partners in advance before they tag them in a post. Note that at launch, the default setting for Partner Approvals will be switched off, so that creators can easily tag their business partners without any barriers. However, business partners can turn on the Partner Approvals feature at any time, and approve creators before they can tag the business partner. See below on how to turn on partner approvals.

Step 1: Go to Options and find Business Settings. Scroll down and find Branded Content Approvals.

Step 2: Approvals are currently automatically off. Toggle on to approve.

Step 3: If you want to find additional creator accounts to approve, they live below the Require Approvals toggle button.

Step 4: Any approved creator accounts will show up.

Step 5: Once all creator accounts are approved, your brand approval tray will be empty.

How does the tool work for Creators (Influencers and Publishers)?

Post Tagging

  • Once the creator and business partner have ironed out content details, the creator enters the creation flow in feed or stories.

  • Creators will then click on “advanced settings” if it's a feed post or the link button if it's a Story.

  • Next, they'll click on “tag business partner” to search for the business' name. The business partner must have an Instagram business profile to appear in search results. If the business appears in the search results but does not allow you to tag it, you must reach out to your business partner and ask to be approved. Once you have been approved by your business partner, you can edit your post by tapping the three dots in the top right side of your post to include the tag.

  • Once the tag is in place, the business partner will receive a notification and will have access to the post's insights.

Feed Post Creation

Step 1: For feed posts go to advanced settings in the last page of the creation flow.

Step 2: Tap on the tag business partner field to open up a search view.

Step 3: Search for partner. Partners still requiring approval are grayed out and divided by a header.

Step 4: Tapping on partner adds the partner to the post.

Step 5: For now, adding a partner will disable cross sharing to Facebook.

Story Creation

Step 1: For Stories go to the icon toolbar after taking a story photo or video but before posting it.

Step 2: Tapping on the link icon opens a view with the option to tag a business partner, and for some influencers it may also have the option to add a URL.

Step 3: Search for business partner.

How does the tool work for business partners?

Tag Notification and Tag Removal

Tagged businesses also now have the ability to opt-out of a Branded Content post. Once the campaign goes live, the business partner will receive a notification via Facebook, Instagram, and Instagram Direct if it is a Branded Content post on Stories. If the business partner wants to be removed from the tag, they can do so in one of two ways:

  • One option is to use Facebook pages/ Business Manager. To remove a tag from Facebook pages, a Business must select either the posts tab or stories tab, and then click on the downward arrow next to the creator's handle, and click the "remove" button.

  • A second option is to remove the tag within Instagram. The business partner can click the three dots on the right hand side above the post and then select the “remove” option.

Step 1: Click on the post you want to be untagged from on the branded content tab under "insights". A preview of the post will appear.

Step 2: Click on the top right chevron next to the username to see the option to remove the brand from the influencer's post.

Step 3: Accept the action in the dialogue box.

Step 4: See confirmation.

Step 1: Tap the 3 dots on the top right corner of your tagged Branded Content post within Instagram on your phone.

Step 2: Tap Remove Me From Post.

Step 3: Confirm removal. Note: Removing yourself from a tagged branded content post means you will not see insights. It doesn't remove the post from Instagram.

Step 1: In a Stories Branded Content post, tap the three dots on the bottom right corner of your tagged post.

Step 2: Confirm removal. Removing yourself from a tagged branded content Stories post means you will not see insights. It doesn't remove the post from Instagram.

Accessing Insights
  • Once the campaign goes live, the business partner will see organic insights in the “Branded Content” tab in FB Page Insights. Business partners must have a FB Page to create an IG Business Profile.

  • For Instagram Stories, tagged business partners will have a 14-day window to see the following metrics: reach, taps forward, taps backward, replies and exits. Creators will continue to see metrics in their app insights.

  • Stories insights will last only 14 days, while feed insights will last forever.

Feed Post Insights

Stories Insights

Accessing Insights from Business Manager

Click below to learn more about branded content on Instagram.