What Instagram’s Teen Challenges Mean for Advertisers

Instagram is under renewed pressure regarding its policies regarding teens, and the scrutiny could affect how advertisers approach the app with regards to influencer marketing and other security considerations. Brand.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri testified before a Senate consumer protection subcommittee on Wednesday, where lawmakers asked questions about adolescent health. For months, lawmakers have dug into Facebook and Instagram, which now fall under the Meta corporate identity, due to reports of the platforms’ impact on adolescent health. In September, this issue was one of the biggest issues raised by whistleblower Frances Haugen. Haugen disclosed internal reports suggesting that Instagram had discovered that some at-risk teens felt bad about themselves after using the app.

“Instagram is addictive,” Senator Richard Blumenthal told Mosseri during the hearing, adding that Instagram’s algorithm is designed to keep teens on the site.

Senators were excited in their questions, following further reports this week on the kind of content Instagram could serve teens. On Tuesday, the Tech Transparency Project watchdog group claimed to have carried out an experiment whereby minors could be directed to the Instagram accounts of drug traffickers.

While the audience focused on teens, lawmakers also addressed topics that have a direct impact on advertisers.

Influence programs

The use of influencers and creators was raised during the hearings, an area in which Instagram and Facebook are both investing aggressively. In fact, Facebook announced on Wednesday a new program that would pay top creators up to $ 35,000 a month to make Reels, short videos similar to TikTok’s.

Senator Marsha Blackburn asked about popular influencer Jojo Siwa, now 18, who once told Mosseri that she has had an Instagram account since she was 8.

Mosseri, Blackburn said, told Siwa he “didn’t want to know,” then the senator asked if that was his general attitude about children sneaking around the under-13 age restriction. from Instagram.

“It seemed like you were encouraging kids, who want to be stars online, to get along sooner and grow their audiences,” Blackburn said.

“I would say it was a missed opportunity,” Mosseri said, failing to use the conversation with Siwa as a teaching moment.

Siwa was also a popular child star on Nickelodeon, joined YouTube at the age of 13, and previously featured in Ad Age.

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