The days of unbridled influencer posts are coming to an end. Instagram announced today that it will no longer allow vaping, tobacco products, or weapons in branded content. The ban will affect both Facebook and Instagram, and enforcement will begin “in the coming weeks.”
The ban was announced deep in an Instagram Business blog post about Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager — talk about burying the lede. A company spokesperson confirmed the change to Input.
Facebook had already sort of banned these — Facebook’s advertising policies already do not allow any of this content, so it’s logical that the policy would extend to influencers, too. Otherwise, companies could potentially take advantage of this loophole to place ads through private, sponsored content.
Maybe add diet pills to the list, too — In the future, Facebook says other products such as diet pills and alcohol might require “special restrictions” for branded content. Facebook says it’s building tools to help content creators comply with the new policies, which will go into effect next year.
Four vaping companies in the U.K. have already had their branded vaping content taken down by Instagram.
Facebook’s policies are still all over the place — So Facebook has decided to crack down on branded content for products that might be considered dangerous — but the company continues to allow false political ads and proven-harmful anti-vaxx ads. Pick a side already, Zuck.