Facebook has been rolling out a lot of measures recently to tidy up its tarnished image over data breach and privacy concerns. After launching an info label to tag political posts, it has now expanded the scope of this facility beyond politics. It now does the same for promotional content that appears on pages of well-known agencies and firms or influencer pages.
What is the new update?
Branded content always has much higher credibility than regular unverified content. This is why channels like Wired are now being paid by brands to promote posts on their pages. Users will now be able to identify such promotional branded content with this info label. This, in turn, will elevate the level of trust they have on such posts and will lead to better volumes of sharing and interaction around it.
While there is no official confirmation yet from the social media giant, this change was spotted by a Facebook user and shared on his Twitter handle. As per his smartphone screen view, we see a post from Capital One (the Virginia, US-based bank holding company specializing in credit cards, auto loans, banking and savings products) that has a post about the impact of Social Security numbers published on WIRED – the digital magazine focusing on technology in the society. The post heading reads as ‘WIRED with Capital One’ and has an info label ‘About the partnership’. When we click on the ‘i’ label for more information, we see another message drop down. This message says that Capital One has compensated WIRED to share this post. It further states that branded content lets creators partner with brands in order to promote their products or services.
An expansion of the political ad labeling initiative?
Users would remember that Facebook had earlier rolled out similar info labels in October 2017 for political ads. This helps users to identify which posts are promoted by politically affiliated entities or by the parties themselves. This also meant that only authorised advertisers will be able to run political ads and that too after appropriately labelling them as a ‘Political Ad’. The move is aimed to eliminate any chances of abuse of political issues and topics by non-political affiliated groups. As per Facebook, this stipulation is applicable to anyone that wants to show “issue ads”.
Does it help?
The move to let users identify a branded partnership goes a long way in removing the fear of mistrust and privacy concerns. The move also aligns on-going improvements in the branded content tags introduced back in 2016. As more and more brands and influencers look to collaborate with one another, the onus is on Facebook to let users know about such branded (paid) partnerships. The addition of the ‘about the partnership’ label is a move in this direction, as users can now easily identify such arrangements and prevent mistrust or confusion from seeping in.
What is your take on this new info label? Do you think it will impact brand fortunes in any way? Do write to us and let us know your comments in the box below.