How Aspiring Instagram ‘Stars’ Are Faking Sponsored Posts On The Platform2 min read


Image via Shutterstock

In today’s digital age, it appears that more and more individuals want in on the supposed “fame” and “glamor” that comes with being an Instagram influencer.

For those who have yet to make it to the top, some are truly faking it till they make it, specifically when it comes to sponsored content.

In the realm on Instagram influencers, the more sponsors you have, the higher your street cred. So if you can’t secure a sponsorship, no biggie, just act like you have.

According to The Atlantic, some wannabe Instagram stars have admitted to uploading posts that are intentionally made to appear sponsored, but in reality, are not ads at all.

For instance, in the case of Palak Joshi’s Instagram Stories, one of her uploaded images resembled a OnePlus post announcing its new Android phone and suggested a sponsored partnership. Joshi told The Atlantic, however, that it was not an ad. Her followers likely don’t know this and probably “assume that everything is sponsored,” Joshi added, when in actuality, this is not the case. She much prefers it this way though. After all, if it seems as though more brands approach you, it means that technically, you’re more successful on the social media platform.

In another case, LA-based lifestyle influencer Sydney Pugh staged a mock ad for a local café by buying her own cup of coffee from the store, before uploading a photo of the beverage with a carefully written caption. Rather than penning, “I need coffee to get through the day,” the caption went along the lines of, “I love Alfred’s coffee because of A, B, C.” Pugh explained that such captions have become so easy to emulate because similar write-ups for sponsored content continuously surface on the social media platform.

Some even fake press trips to give the impression that they are part of an influencer campaign. Taylor Evans paid for her own trip to Miami, but angled it on Instagram to appear as though she was part of an exclusive press event.

The whole idea is to portray that “you have an established relationship with that brand,” said Evans.

All this, of course, has taken some brand founders by surprise. Jason Wong, founder of fake-eyelash brand Doux Lashes, shared that the extent to which some wannabe Instagram influencers go to to promote his brand for free is startling.

Read more about the intriguing exposé that dims the line between “who is sponsored and who is pretending” on The Atlantic.

[via The Atlantic, main image via Shutterstock]