Facebook and Instagram are finally taking a stance and imposing restrictions on the promotion of certain products. Both Facebook and Instagram from now won't allow "branded content" or postings from influencers that promote guns, tobacco products and vaping.
The decision comes on a day when UK advertising watchdog banned British American Tobacco and three other e-cigarette companies from promoting their vaping products on Instagram pages. The ruling has been hailed by health activists and campaigners as a big leap forward towards curbing the usage of vaping products.
A big leap forward
The announcement was made by Instagram on Wednesday that it won't any longer allow any "branded content" on any of these two platforms that directly or indirectly promotes vaping, tobacco products and weapons. The new rules are likely to come into effect in the next few weeks. Instagram also said that it is working on tools that will allow creators to honor the new policy. This includes options like setting minimum age requirement or their content. Facebook and Instagram already bans advertisements for weapons, tobacco products and e-cigarettes but this is the first time that it will put restrictions on what influencers can pitch in their content or feeds.
This definitely is a major step and is being considered as an action that was long overdue. At the same time, the decision to restrict influencers from pitching feeds on these products closes a loophole in the social media giant's advertising policies.
Facebook pulls up its socks
Facebook is making efforts to resurrect its lost image. The company not only announced a ban on "branded content" by influencers of products like weapons, tobacco and vaping, but also said that branded content that promotes products like alcohol and diet supplements too will require "special restriction" once its new advertising policies come into effect.
Regulators have been quite vigilant on the advertising policies of social media companies when it comes to promoting restricted products or goods causing health hazards like e-cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol. Facebook and Instagram have both faced the backlash of regulators for allowing social media stars promote harmful products. Facebook has been feeling the heat for some time now with UK's Advertising Standards Authority banning posts from people under 25 years who promote vaping.