For Instagram, introducing this tool is a huge, long overdue step to bring more transparency on the platform for creators, brands, and all of the more than 700 million monthly active users who are often exposed to such posts.
Since its founding in 2012, Instagram let the system operate as the Wild West, where celebrities and influencers would chose from a handful of hashtags, like #ad, #spon, and #sp, to include in the caption of their Instagram posts as a disclosure.
Instagram tested this product back in February, Mashable first reported. But it still took until now before Instagram would even comment on the existence of a feature. They had, however, been speaking with creators and brands about the tools.
“This is something I’ve been talking to our creators about with a while. In terms of how long it’s taken us to get here, we wanted to be very careful about it. We want to make a product that serves the creators, the brands and also the community,” said Charles Porch, creative program director at Instagram.
Instagram also added analytics — reach and engagement metrics — that are shared directly with the selected brand when the tool is used. Brands can see these numbers on their Facebook Page manager, and creators can see it in the app.