Over the years, social media has transformed the way people interact, learn, educate, date, and live. Though it’s debatable whether this transformation has brought society closer together or further apart, it’s clear that the evolution of social media is never-ending and always-changing.
Social media has changed the way different industries reach their target audience. Regarding advertisements, social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have taken “celebrity endorsements” to a new level. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, DJ Khaled, Selena Gomez, and others have promoted different products throughout their preferred platform; the question is, do they actually practice what they preach?
We’d like to believe that our favorite celebrity is telling us to use something that worked so well for them because they’ve tried the product, and it really worked so well for them. Unfortunately, this idea has become so problematic for consumers that the Federal Trade Commission has recently set forth clear instructions, pertaining to social media “ads.”
Previously, it was unclear if an individual was suggesting an amazing product to their followers, or if they were advertising a product thats only use was financial, as seen in the picture of Khloe Kardashian below.
Now, the FTC requires that social media advertisements can’t be so vague and deceitful. It must be clear that the person is “advertising” a product and it’s not an honest review or suggesting for a “friend.” #Ad is now added to the post in a clear, unhidden, and detectable way, so followers are clear that the individual is being paid to promote an item and they are being compensated for their corporation, as seen below.
In the end, I guess it’s up to the individual to decide whether a product is worth purchasing based on someone else’s experience, but at least now it’s a little easier to tell whether or not there was ever an honest “experience” to relate to.