Kracking Down on the Kardashians: Instagram Implements New Restrictions on Influencer Marketing

Kylie Jenner visits Houston Ulta Beauty to promote the exclusive launch of Kylie Cosmetics on Nov. 18, 2018, in Houston.
Photo: Rick Kern (Getty Images for Ulta Beauty)

Instagram is entering a new era—hopefully, one that’ll be healthier for the self-images of users under 18.

Buzzfeed News reports that on Wednesday, the social media platform announced a new policy intended to restrict “content that promotes weight loss products or cosmetic procedures” to underage users.

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As Buzzfeed reports:

The policy is being led by Instagram, but will impact content on Facebook as well. Users who are known to be under the age of 18 will be restricted from viewing posts that promote the use of certain weight loss products and cosmetic procedures, or posts that have an incentive for users to buy products or include a price.

This move, which began to be implemented immediately subsequent to the announcement, follows a policy unveiled in July that restricts marketing of alcohol, tobacco, and e-cigarettes to minors on the app (h/t CNN). Obviously, this newest policy will directly impact the “Insta-fluencer” culture the app has become known for. The uptick in posts promoting products like “flat belly tea,” weight loss lollipops, lip-plumping kits and more have drawn ire from critics and body-positive advocates over the past few years, as has the often unrealistically aspirational nature of much of its influencers’ paid content. Stemming the flow of marketing that may undermine body image is the goal of the new restrictions, said Instagram public policy manager Emma Collins.

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” said Collins in a statement, reports Buzzfeed.

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And what of the app’s biggest influencers, the Kardashians? The world’s most famous sister act continues to make a fortune via social media hawking products that promote not only their respective beauty lines and personal ventures, but weight loss and cosmetic procedures.

“If [a Kardashian’s] Instagram post is pulled into the policy of promoting diet products or procedures for sale it will be removed,” Collins told the British Evening Standard. “The Kardashians are people we continue to have collaborative conversations with, they’ll be made aware of the change.”

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Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.