Instagram’s Influencer Policies: Misguided Health Advice on Social Media
Social media has become a hot spot for product advertisement. This occurs via popular celebrity figures who have verified accounts on various social media platforms (aka “influencers”). Especially health and weight loss products.
This may be excellent news for businesses that would love to have their products endorsed by big names such as “Kardashian”. This isn’t such good news for the impressionable consumers who follow these accounts. Such as the younger generations who have easy access to social media and online shopping resources.
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What is an Influencer?
Influencers are credible users on social media platforms such as Instagram. These users have built a well-known reputation and have amassed an audience of followers who trust in these influencers and the products that they back up.
The creators of these products pay the influencers to promote their product on these popular Instagram accounts. They know that by having their products featured and endorsed by such accounts will quickly and reputably spread the word of their product.
What’s Been Happening on Instagram?
Often models and athletes are seen endorsing health, weight loss, and cosmetic products on Instagram. It’s not uncommon to also see celebrities who are known for their figure or overall good looks, also backing some sort of health supplement.
Pubic figures, such as the Kardashians, who are known for their beauty and voluptuous curves, have set the bar. A bar that can easily be seen as unrealistic. This consequentially puts pressure on the audience of influencers who think they need to look like this and use these products to be considered beautiful.
Why This Is a Problem
What’s the problem with these celebrities talking about the products that they’re supposedly using to maintain their unbelievable figures? The problem here is that these kinds of posts on social media are promoting a nearly unrealistic body image expectation.
This isn’t to say that these products don’t do what they promise. The problem lies in the presentation of the products and services. Positive health promotion and unrealistic beauty expectations are two entirely different things.
“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” said Instagram’s public policy manager, Emma Collins, in a statement.
This statement was published by CBS News, credible news source who has also published news on Instagram’s new policies.
What Instagram is Doing About This
Instagram has put a new policy into place that puts restrictions on what these influencers can and cannot post on Instagram. They are making it so that users under the age of 18 will not be able to see posts that contain an advertisement for weight loss supplements and other such products.
Some posts may even be removed entirely if they meet certain criteria. This criteria includes claiming “miraculous weight loss results” and providing an incentive to purchase the products such as a coupon code.
They have also made it easier for users to report influencers who break these new guidelines through social platforms.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram want to look out for the physical and mental health of their users. Their goal is to provide a platform that promotes a positive self-image for all.
The Verge provided information about what’s been going on within Instagram, and what the social platform is going to be doing to rectify this problem. They also provide a link to Instagram’s advertising policies and guidelines so that readers can learn more about what’s changed.
CBS News has also been on top of reporting this story recently. Although they don’t say much on the matter, they do talk about some of the more important facts of the matter.
Influencers on social media have a tight grip on users, influencing them in one way or the other almost effortlessly. Not every influencing source is a negative one, just as the products aren’t just full of empty promises.
The big concern recently was the impact that such influential posts will have on the younger generation, as they are so impressionable to such things. Facebook and Instagram are working to dampen these negative vibes and promote a more body-positive platform for all users.