The number of Instagram posts hashtagged #ad nearly doubled in 2017, according to research published by influencer-marketing firm Klear.
Beware of headlines quoting the company’s headline claim that the volume increased “by 198%” though. As its own graphs make clear, it meant ‘by 98%’ – for example, it counted 171k #ad posts in December 2017, up from 86k in December 2016.
The volume of #ad posts nearly doubled in 2017, rather than tripled, then. That’s still impressive growth, although there is another caveat to this data.
2017 was the year when the US Federal Trade Commission publicly warned Instagram influencers to correctly label their sponsored posts, and when Instagram itself reminded its creators about the need for proper disclosure.
The number of #ad posts doubling thus doesn’t necessarily show that the number of influencer-marketing campaigns doubled in 2017: part of this may be about campaigns being correctly hashtagged where they might not have been in 2016.
Other findings from Klear’s research include its claim that 83.9% of the sponsored Instagram posts that it tracks were posted by women – this, compared to comScore data (from 2016) suggesting that 56% of overall Instagram users were women.
According to Klear, the top category on Instagram for influencer marketing in 2017 was fashion and accessories, followed by beauty and cosmetics; food and beverages; automotive; consumer electronics; travel; entertainment, retail; tech; and fitness and wellness.