Instagram and its owner Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has banned the promotion of vaping, tobacco, and weapons on its platforms, reports CNBC.
The promotion of vaping, tobacco, and weapons have been prohibited by Facebook and Instagram for a long time, but this rule has not been enforced. Many influencers still promoted vaping on these platforms. On Wednesday, however, Instagram announced that it would be cracking down on branded content that includes vaping/tobacco products or guns. Facebook defines branded content as content that is “produced by a publisher or creator for payment by a business partner, where the partner influences the content or is featured in it.”
“Branded content that promotes goods such as vaping, tobacco products and weapons will not be allowed. Our advertising policies have long prohibited the advertisement of these products, and we will begin enforcement on this in the coming weeks,” the photo-sharing platform stated in its announcement on Wednesday.
This comes after an incident that generated much interest across the United States in which a Michigan teenager had to get the world’s first double lung transplant due to vaping in November. Vaping has been very popular with teenagers in recent times. This has caused many teenagers to have lung injuries. 72% of teenagers use Instagram, per a 2018 survey by the PEW Research Center. The cracking down of branded content on vaping products is sure to cause a slight hit on the teenage vaping industry.
Besides updating their branded content policies, Facebook and Instagram also announced new ways to support branded content creators. A tool called “Brand Collabs Manager” has been opened up to a select group of Instagram branded content creators, making it easier for these creators to find insights on their posts and manage new partnerships. Instagram expects to invest more resources into helping their branded content creators grow in the upcoming year.
Facebook stock is up 1.67% as of 2:43 PM EST on Thursday.
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