Instagram is joining a growing trend among leading social media sites of subsidizing celebrities in order to lure them into posting content on their platform.
Facebook's image sharing website is doing this in the hope of helping its struggling segment, IGTV – the long-format version of Instagram Stories – get off the ground. However, as Bloomberg reports, there are strings attached.
Bloomberg said that it saw a copy of a contract offered to creators and influencers, where Instagram requires them to refrain from topics such as “social issues, elections or politics” in exchange for having production costs covered by the giant.
That's a pretty broad definition, which is reportedly leaving some creators unhappy. Bloomberg noted that while Instagram's parent company, Facebook, is allowing political speech – and is being consistently criticized for it – Instagram's guidelines are very different in this case.
But the move is not much different from a recent decision by Twitter to ban all “issue-based and political” advertising on that social website. In addition, Facebook explained that while it allows political speech of its users, the company reserves the right not to fund it with its own money – hence the clause in the Instagram contract offered to influencers.
Bloomberg also said that Instagram is dishing out relatively small amounts of money to attract celebrities – small here meaning up to a quarter-million dollars – at least compared to the money spent by Facebook and YouTube in a similar quest to attract famous users.
At the same time, Instagram isn't paying stars to use the platform to post long-form videos but is instead only covering their production costs. Meanwhile, unsubsidized creators are still free to post IGTV content on a variety of topics, including politics.
Earlier reports suggested that YouTube might be neglecting home-grown talent that helped propel the platform to global dominance by dedicating attention and resources to bringing in traditional celebrities, like movie and TV stars and athletes.
In addition to paying stars for posting on YouTube, the company also offers them advice and guidance on how to make the best use of the video platform.
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