December 2, 2020


Erica Perry


Instagram recently unveiled a new redesign of its main home screen on the app to counter the rise of TikTok. The Reels icon is now in the front and center of the app, directing users to a dedicated page of curated content organized by people they are following as well as their previous engagement patterns and interests.

Now, the platform is taking additional steps to ensure that developers have access to more lucrative brand partnerships and revenue options through additional branded content functionality in Reels, Live, Stories and Posts, including product tags.

Here is a breakdown of the latest information:

Integration of the branded content tag in Reels and Live

To make it easier for influencers and brands to create and expand, Instagram is rolling out branded content tags for its TikTok-like product, Reels, and revealing plans to continue testing these disclaimers on its live video product in the coming weeks. Ultimately, this allows developers to generate more revenue from their short-form and live video content faster.

"Branded content is a powerful tool for developers and businesses alike. These updates will help them get more out of the content they create together," said Justin Osofsky, COO of Instagram, in a statement. "This will continue to be a focus for us as we develop a range of monetization tools that support the various needs and ambitions of developers."

As social platforms continue to provide developers with new tools and platforms to help them generate direct, measurable sales, the line between partner and developer is more blurred than ever. The requirements and ambitions continue to change due to the pandemic requiring platform specific content and the retrofitting of a set of assets across all channels.

New workflow and age restrictions

Previously, branded content ads were created by promoting existing postings from creators. However, in a revamped workflow, Instagram is adding value to collaboration by allowing advertisers to serve ads with branded content without the creators having to organically post to Instagram first. On the surface, this allows for greater efficiency and flexibility while still giving the creators control to approve or suspend ads published from their handle.

The process follows a simple three step approach:

  • The advertiser sends a request to access the ad creation.
  • The creator accepts access to ad creation. If accepted, a notification will be sent to the advertiser
  • The creator receives a notification of the created ad for approval

Finally, businesses and creators can set a minimum age for feeds with branded content. In particular, according to the official announcement, they can set a default minimum age or a minimum age for certain countries or a combination of both options.

Promote branded content in stories and with product tags

Brands can now also advertise branded content with product tags. To date, branded posts from creators that included product tags could not be promoted through branded content ads, making it more difficult for them to reach audiences.

“More and more people are buying directly from the developers they love on Instagram. This new ad format is another way brands can provide a seamless shopping experience on Instagram. This new format will be tested in the coming months, ”announced the platform.

What does that mean in the end? Brands have a leaner ecosystem where they can get more value from the content, which makes it easier for people to shop directly from the developers they inspire. For example, in stories, branded content ads can include tippable elements such as @mentions, location, and hashtags to give brands broader access to the creative of stories that is "native and authentic to the stories experience."

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