Instagram as we know it made a turn for the worse yesterday. After four years of ad-free glory, the photo-sharing app is now letting companies advertise on your news feed. (Instagram already allowed it internationally in the U.S. and U.K.) But don’t worry, fashionistas, you probably won’t notice a thing.
You might be blissfully unaware of this fact, but you’re already subject to brand bombardment on Instagram, thanks in no small part to fashion bloggers. Sure, you might think they’re casually flicking their hair back as they go about their business, but more often than not they’re promoting a plethora of brands in the process.
Whether they blatantly mention the brands they’re wearing in the accompanying caption or decide to reveal them with a double tap, pretty much every fashion blogger is doing the dirty work for advertisers.
For brands, it’s an economical way to get their name out there, with the label or PR agency representing it usually handing out new-season product to the “taste-makers” free of charge. “PR companies will get a hold of your address and they’ll just start sending you products and everything,” Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat.com told Huffington Post. “Most of the time I blog everything I get.”
But sometimes the brand will pay a small fee to secure the editorial action, in a similar style to more traditional methods of advertising. Even Roxy Jacenko, owner of Ministry of Talent, has created a business model around the idea. Earlier this year, Australian Women’s Weekly exposed that the company rakes in anywhere up to $850 for a brand mention on a client’s Instagram account.
So what’s the point of paying a huge company like Instagram (ahem, Facebook), when you can just pay, or gift, a fashion blogger? If this new avenue for advertising does take off, people like Roxy and her pack of “talents” could lose a lot of business. But we doubt they will. Besides, what are fashion bloggers for anyway, if not to reveal the latest and greatest to those who don’t have the time to seek it out themselves?