Instagram will update it’s API again on Friday February 28th. This month they are going to be testing a new tool that allows you to edit and trim “story” videos, but the most notable updates this time around are related to influencer marketing, IGTV monetization and categories.
Changes to Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has historically been unregulated on social media, even though influencers are supposed to be following clear Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines. That may start to change soon.
The FTC recently released a statement announcing that undisclosed influencer marketing posts on social could result in fees and financial penalties. They specifically mentioned Instagram and YouTube as the “major vehicles for influencer marketing campaigns” and as commonly-used platforms where violations occur.
Currently, influencers and brands are required to disclose all sponsored content, and doing so requires more than simply adding a “#sponsored” somewhere deep in the middle of 30 hashtags and buried below the fold.
You should be using “sponsored” tags to identify paid relationships between a business and an influencer, increasing transparency for users.
Want to make sure that you’re following influencer marketing regulations on Instagram? Learn more here.
IGTV is not tremendously popular, but it is holding its own, particularly as an extension of Instagram.
Now that the mobile-only, long-form video platform is gaining some traction, it only makes sense that IGTV is working on a monetization feature that would benefit multiple parties.
This particular monetization feature will benefit certain creators, who can apply to be part of the “Instagram Partner Program.” These individual creators can opt in to showing ads alongside their video content on IGTV. If they do, they could earn revenue, similar to publishers in the Audience Network or Google’s Display Network.
It’s similar to creators who earn revenue on Facebook Watch when users watch ads during the video breaks. In these cases, creators can actually earn a 55% share of the ad revenue generated from those views, giving them a steady supply of passive income.
It may encourage more creators to focus on sharing content specifically made for IGTV while spending more time trying to drive their audiences there. This could potentially result in more users coming to the platform, following their favorite creators.
New “Following” Categories
Instagram just recently rolled out two new categories within the “Following” tab on your accounts.
Users are now able to see which accounts they’ve interacted with during the past 90 days, and which have shown up most frequently thanks to Instagram’s algorithms.
You can use this for strategic analytic purposes on your business account. Take a look at which users are interacting with your content most, and see what you can discover about them.
This can help you identify audience niches that you may not have known that you had, or solidify current buyer personas that you already have.
You should also review which accounts are showing up most often in your feed thanks to the Instagram algorithm.
You can gain insight into what content performs well, and try to share more of it on your own profile to see how it does for you.