MENLO PARK, Calif. – Social media platform Instagram announced on Wednesday that it would no longer allow social media influencers on the platform to promote “vaping, tobacco, and weapons.”
Though Instagram made the announcement, its parent company, Facebook, will also be affected by the policy change. Facebook already prohibited paid advertising for tobacco and cannabis products as well as weapons; the new restriction will allow the network to prohibit brands and companies from paid cross-promotion with social media influencers.
On Instagram, influencers that are paid to promote brands or products have their ad posts labeled “paid partnership with.” Partnerships were allowed after a policy change in June that let brands and companies pay to promote influencers and posts who promote their services and products.
Instagram said the policy changes would be implemented in early 2020. The company indicated this is the first time the platform has restricted the types of products that can be promoted. It is also considering restrictions on weight loss supplements and liquor.
The company said it’s developing software to help content creators remain in compliance with new policies, as well as age-restriction features that would prevent certain content from being viewed by underage users.
The action came as the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority, also on Wednesday, banned promotional Instagram posts by four vaping companies, including one post that featured popular singer Lily Allen holding a Vype e-cigarette.
The UK companies that had posts banned included British American Tobacco (BAT), Ama Vape, Attitude Vapes, and Global Vaping Group.