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Working with Instagram’s New Guidelines

Working with Instagram’s New Guidelines

ch-ch-ch-ch changes

Some big changes to Instagram’s Community Guidelines have come through this week. While mainly focused on helping Instagram’s rapidly growing audience understand dos and don’ts on the channel, they’re important for brands too. We’ve looked at the three changes with the biggest impact on brands.

Authentic Content (that you’ve got permission to use)

For individuals, this line is more-or-less a crackdown on people stealing images from elsewhere on the internet, and a subtle dig at competitions that encourage regramming.

Remember to post authentic content, and don’t post anything you’ve copied or collected from the Internet that you don’t have the right to post.

For brands, it’s a reminder that content created by your community, about you, doesn’t necessarily belong to you. Asking permission for user generated content you use on your channel helps build good will, but also covers you under Instagram’s community guidelines.

Meaningful Interactions (and quitting spam)

The next guideline might seem obvious – but for many, it can be a challenge. Given the emphasis often put on growing likes and followers, it may be tempting to buy what Instagram calls “artificial growth” – a nice way of saying “fake followers and fake engagement”.

Foster meaningful and genuine interactions. Help us stay spam-free by not artificially collecting likes, followers, or shares, posting repetitive comments or content, or repeatedly contacting people for commercial purposes without their consent.

There’s also a subtle focus on great community management here. A personalised response always wins out on an automated one – and Instagram wants to recognise that.

No nudes (no, really, no nudes)

Finally, Instagram have clearly defined what they deem explicit or unacceptable content. This comes after a series of double standards in guideline enforcement that spawned a feature film and put Instagram in the firing line for censorship and inconsistency in enforcing it’s policy. The new guideline reads:

Post photos and videos that are appropriate for a diverse audience. We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram.

This marks a line in the sand for Instagram – publicly affirming their commitment to a nipple-free social media channel. For brands, it’s another sense check – but for some, may it be difficult to follow.

The full list of community guidelines is available here. Will any of them affect how you use your ‘gram?