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Instagram influencers can no longer promote vaping and guns

Influencers on Instagram and Facebook will be banned from promoting branded content about vaping, tobacco and weapons.On Wednesday, Facebook said such...

Posted: Dec 19, 2019 3:46 AM
Updated: Dec 19, 2019 3:57 AM

Influencers on Instagram and Facebook will be banned from promoting branded content about vaping, tobacco and weapons.

On Wednesday, Facebook said such products have "long" been prohibited in its advertising policies, but it will start enforcing the ban in the "coming weeks."

Branded content promoting alcohol and diet supplements will require special restrictions, although Instagram didn't specify what those will entail.

In June, Instagram rolled out "branded content ads," which allows brands to turn influencers' sponsored content posts into ads so they can reach a bigger audience. When branded-content ads appear on the feed or in Stories, they look similar to regular ads, but users see the words "paid partnership" and the brand's name.

On Wednesday, the company also said it's expanding the branded content tools it offers.

Doubling down on such features is a way for Instagram to tap into the growing influencer marketing industry, which has exploded on its platform. Instagram doesn't take a cut of partnerships between influencers and brands, but Instagram does make money from branded content ads.

Facebook's "Brands Collabs Manager" -- a tool previously only accessible to Facebook creators -- will now open up to a select group of Instagram influencers. They'll be able to share metrics with brands and find companies to work with.

This is also part of an effort to alleviate some concerns among influencers about Instagram's test to hide likes.

"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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