What Is Instagram Reels? Launch Date, Differences From TikTok, Implications For Advertisers

What Is Instagram Reels

Facebook is doling out huge sums of money (again) this time to top TikTok influencers to get them over to Instagram Reels. Sound familiar? It’s the same approach Facebook took with YouTube creators when rolling out its Facebook Video and Live Streaming platforms.

TikTok, the video-sharing social app has been banned in India (again) and is facing a possible ban in the U.S. but a Microsoft acquisition (making TikTok a U.S.-owned company) would evade such a ban.

Facebook, always ready to capitalize on a competing social media app’s predicament (e.g. how Instagram Stories cannibalized Snapchat), rolled out its own TikTok clone today (August 5, 2020) via Instagram named “Reels”. Previously, Facebook attempted to rival TikTok with “Lasso” which sat within Facebook’s app, but it failed to gain traction.

Read to learn more about what is Instagram Reels, its differences from TikTok, whether it’ll succeed and implications for influencers and advertisers:

What Is Instagram Reels? Facebook’s TikTok Rival

Instagram Reels is a new creative video platform within the Instagram app that allows users to “record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools.”

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels takes TikTok’s viral success formula of quick looping video snippets paired with short audio tracks or original/custom audio and places it right in the center of the Instagram app.

Now, along with Instagram Stories, IGTV, and live streaming, 1.5+ billion Instagram users will be able to use Reels to create TikTok-style content.

How Is TikTok Different From Instagram Reels?

On the surface, Instagram Reels and TikTok are similar. The primary differences so far include 1) the time limit for each Reels or TikTok video (15 seconds for Reels vs. 60 seconds for TikTok), 2) how Reels shared from private Instagram account disappear after 24-hours (similar to how Stories currently function), and 3) how Instagram vs. TikTok surface trending videos.

Currently, much of TikTok’s success and the virality of its content and creators rests on the TikTok algorithm. High-performing content moves through the four phases of the TikTok algorithm and ends up on TikTok’s For You Page (the “homepage” for TikTok — what users see immediately upon opening the app).

In place of a For You Page, Instagram has their Discover or Explore page. Reels can be found here along with Stories and curated posts and videos. Additionally, Instagram may designate some Reels as “Featured.”

Instagram Reels vs. TikTok

Clicking into a Reels post from Instagram’s Explore page plays the Reel and from there, scrolling up provides much of the same experience as scrolling through TikTok’s For You Page.

Instagram Reels Release Date & The Push For Influencers

Instagram Reels rolled out to U.S. users on August 5, 2020 with 50 other countries to quickly follow in early August. Previously, Reels was tested in France, Germany, Brazil and India ahead of its U.S. release date.

As evinced by both YouTube’s popularity and longevity, the key to a platform’s success rests much on its early adopters namely the creators and influencers who are adept at creating entertaining and shareable content.

For Reels to succeed, it’s likely the same formula and Facebook has been busy offering exclusive well-paying contracts complete with NDAs for TikTok influencers to create solely (or at least uploading content first) on Reels. For some influencers, Instagram will also cover production costs.

TikTok has been aggressive these last few years about promoting its app (targeting users, advertisers, and creators) by taking out ads on both Instagram and Facebook and recently announced (July 22, 2020) its $200M TikTok Creator Fund — seemingly a direct effort to keep its influencers from migrating over to Instagram.

Facebook/Instagram is no newcomer to the influencer game (having enlisted several celebrities and influencers for the past rollouts of Facebook Video, Watch, etc.). Instagram Reels’ launch featured the teaser release of Miley Cyrus’s latest song (debuted on Reels). Instagram and Cyrus have had a longstanding partnership stemming back to her 2015 #InstaPride campaign.

Access Reels In Instagram

Instagram Reel’s Impact For Influencers & Advertisers

Much like Snapchat (prior to competition from Instagram Stories), TikTok was able to command high ad rates (e.g. up to $300k for certain Hashtag Challenges and ad packages) as it’s been unchallenged in the social media app sphere. TikTok does present certain demographics that are not found on other apps. With the rollout of Instagram Reels, much of this will change.

Facebook will likely roll out a comparable (if not better) clone of TikTok (as it did with Instagram Stories supplanting Snapchat). If history repeats itself, Instagram Reels will experience massive adoption from both influencers and advertisers as it’s easier to centralize everything on a single app vs. juggling between several.

Instagram Reels explore page

The introduction of Instagram Reels (and its various advertising options within the Instagram/Facebook platform) eliminates the TikTok monopoly for quick, creative, music-driven content — which likely will drive down the cost of TikTok ads.

Reels will make it easy for Instagram influencers not on TikTok to start creating TikTok-style content on Instagram whereas many TikTok influencers will opt for the opportunity to grow (or further grow) their Instagram following with Reels.

Whether Instagram Reels supplants TikTok or TikTok finds a way to remain competitive and unique from Reels, it’s likely that quick, creative, audio-driven video clips (from TikTok or Reels) are here to stay as audiences worldwide can’t seem to get enough of TikTok content — TikTok’s engagement rates and time spent on the platform are one of the highest in the industry and brands marketing on TikTok have seen high ROIs.


Instagram Reels gives advertisers an in-demand influencer marketing channel within an established social media platform.

How Influencers & Celebrities Are Creating For Good Amid Coronavirus


With lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and quarantines in effect around the world, people are confined to their homes passing the time online and on social media. Statista estimates that social media usage during the month of March rose by 32%. Coronavirus may be the first global pandemic chronicled across social media — people are looking to online news sites and social media to find updates, voice their opinions, and entertain themselves.

Many brands have already taken the initiative to launch coronavirus influencer marketing campaigns. Most have been met by positive reactions while some influencers have made headlines during the outbreak for the wrong reasons.

Many influencers are using their social presence to aid, encourage, and inspire others. We share how influencers are responding to Coronavirus and share examples of influencers who are taking the extra step by creating charitable content for social good.

3 Primary Ways Influencers Are Responding To Coronavirus

COVID-19 has caused many influencers to rethink their social content strategy and re-align sponsorships. The lockdown presents an opportunity for influencers to engage differently with their followers, have well-being and mindfulness conversations during times of adversity, and for some, use their social clout to generate donations for COVID-19 relief charities and nonprofits.


  • Many influencers are using their time in isolation to up their content by creating IGTV tutorials, hosting Instagram LIVEs, and posting more frequent Stories.
  • Influencers are taking the opportunity to create specific at-home tutorials including loungewear clothing hauls, DIY crafting for kids, self-care routines, etc.
  • Goodwill Content: A study shows that 88% of influencers are actively seeking ways their content can help small businesses during economic hardship.
  • Coronavirus Influencer Trends: Boredom is bringing influencers to TikTok. Many Instagram-focused influencers have created TikTok accounts in the wake of the national lockdown.
  • Fitness influencers are energizing followers by posting at-home fitness workouts and challenges.

2. Business As Usual

  • While nearly 50% of influencers recommend brands acknowledge COVID-19 in current campaigns, some influencers are partaking in campaigns with a “business as usual” approach.
  • The same study shows that while influencers are worried about seeming insensitive during the pandemic, they are more concerned about a lack of collaboration opportunities.
  • In a transparency effort, most “business as usual” influencers are careful to clarify any posts that include content taken before the quarantine — especially travel influencers.

3. Social ‘Media’ Distancing

  • Some influencers are taking this period to take a social media break altogether. These influencers are welcoming the systematic downtime to escape work and also possibly avoid creator burnout.
  • While many influencers are postponing partnerships that may come across insensitive during these times, some influencers like Sina Duvinage of popular account @happygreylucky are pausing content altogether before deciding how to best serve their quarantined followers.

How Influencers Can Continue To Adapt During Coronavirus

  • Leverage their platform(s) to share a socially positive voice
  • Utilize ‘Swipe up’ links in Instagram Stories to share health information, donation links, etc.
  • Take the time to connect with their followers without “capitalizing” on the moment

12 Influencers And Celebrities Creating For A Cause During Coronavirus

Health officials have repeatedly stated that the millennial generation is the core demographic that’s going to help stop the spread of coronavirus around the globe.

Well managed, close relationships with influencers can help companies and brands continue to deliver high-quality content during uncertain times. Influencers work as ambassadors for brands by providing valuable exposure and trust through relevant and appealing influencer content.

Here are 12 examples of influencers and celebrities using their influence to address and aid communities:


Dr. Leslie was one of the first TikTok influencers to address the coronavirus back in January and has since grown her platform to over 560K followers. Her first coronavirus video generated over 4.2 million views and her light-hearted humor resonates with her Gen Z audience.

Dr. Leslie answers health questions, busts coronavirus myths, and incorporates TikTok challenges in her content to stay relevant and peak viewer interest.


Macro-influencer Courtney Quinn was quick to shift her usual content to focus on COVID assistance creating a small business movement where her followers promote their favorite businesses and business owners could share the best ways to help.

Her audience praised her for her quick thinking initiative and Courtney received more than 3x the average number of comments on her post. The candid influencer known for her motivational captions also launched a #ColorMeChallenge to help her followers through quarantine.


Reality TV star and influencer Tyler Cameron forms TikTok supergroup @TheQuarantineCrew keeping over 560K Bachelorette fans entertained.

The crew made headlines when Hannah Brown, Tyler’s famous Bachelorette-ex joined the quarantine party fueling romance rumors. The friend group creates comical TikTok skits, many of which provide users with relevant health information.


Early on in the Coronavirus outbreak beauty guru Carli Bybel took to her YouTube channel to give back to her fans. In the “Get Ready With Me” video Carli announces the worldwide giveaway will have two winners, and each will have all of their bills paid for the month of April.

The contest took place on Instagram and YouTube and Carli further promoted optimism by requiring giveaway contestants to each share “a positive thing they are taking away from this scary time.”


Seth Phillips, aka dude with sign is a @fuckjerry influencer who captured America’s heart by sharing first world grovels on a cardboard sign. His simple content garners millions of likes per post and has allowed him to work with Jimmy Kimmel and Justin Bieber.

On March 16, he partnered with Instagram and the WHO to create a 6 picture post to publicize best health practices to his over 7 million followers. His blunt approach was well received with a 32% engagement rate, 12% higher than his average.


kids together coronavirus influencers

A study shows that 75% of Gen Z and Millennials want to become YouTubers when they grow up. With the line between celebrities and social media stars becoming increasingly blurred it is not a huge surprise that social media influencers account for almost one-fourth of Nickelodeon’s LIVE programming talent.

YouTubers David Dobrik and Emma Chamberlain, and TikTok stars Addison Rae, Annie Leblanc, and Charlie D’Amelio were some of the influencers included in the children’s channel event. The “#KidsTogether Nickelodeon Town Hall” sought to answer children’s questions about COVID-19, and share how kids can make an impact during the health crisis.


The recently crowned “Favorite Male Social Star of 2020” returned to YouTube after a month break only to surprise fans with one of his biggest giveaways. The star drove around Los Angeles gifting families in need video game consoles, $10,000 checks and even cars!

David’s generous video immediately started trending worldwide on Twitter. Fellow YouTube vlogger @RyanAbe tweeted, “David Dobrik shooting $10,000 checks out of a t-shirt cannon at random people from his car is the kind of energy I needed to see in the world right now.”

5 Celebrity Influencers Rising to the Cause During Lockdown


With a $3 million donation, TikTok announced a new partnership with the former governor’s charity to provide relief to families during the virus outbreak. His After-School All-Stars program was quick to modify their operations to help children and families affected by the nationwide school closures.

While the partnership may take some by surprise, TikTok has long been a fan of the Terminator. In April 2019 TikTok excitedly welcomed Mr. Schwarzenegger to the app in a newsroom post that launched the #LikeArnold trend.


Anastasia Karanikolaou better known as @Stassiebaby, is a celebrity influencer whose high-profile friendship with Kylie Jenner has helped her amass to near 8 million Instagram followers.

Using her platform for good, Stassie posted a video starting the #DoYourPartChallenge. The challenge has since collected over 1,082 posts and caught the attention of @doordash who eagerly assisted by gifting meals.


In a video post notably different from her usual content, Selena Gomez showed her 176 million followers how she washes her hands. The actress/singer got candid with her followers in the one-minute long video, showing she too is abiding the stay at home orders.

Her raw approach to the #SafeHands hashtag challenge was viewed more than 5.6 million times and the star tagged a chain of celebrities friends to help continue the health-conscious trend.


John Krazinski created ‘Some Good News’ in hopes to make people smile amid the chaos of COVID-19. While the one month old channel has only 12 videos, it has raked up 2.3 subscribers with an exceptional average of 4.3 million views per video.

Synonymous with its name the channel features uplifting, positive news stories and is filled with celebrity guest appearances. Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and Martha Stewart are just a few of the big names who have virtually joined the news show.


Kylie Jenner joins a posse of business owners who are switching operations to make COVID-related products in wake of the health crisis. The CEO announced that her cosmetics brand will be producing hand sanitizers to be donated to emergency and healthcare workers. The makeup mogul is just one of the many celebrities who are giving back to the community by making considerable coronavirus donations.

New Data: Sponsored Posts Growing 30% Year-over-Year On Instagram

Since 2017, #sponsored posts on Instagram grew by almost 6x. Similarly, #ad posts have more than doubled (2x). Just in 2019, sponsored posts increased by 800,000 to 3.3 million total sponsored posts from 2018’s 2.5 million.

While most Instagram users will recall seeing sponsored posts by celebrities like the Kardashians (or their favorite pop star) for beauty or fashion-related products as early as 2016 — in 2020, even politicians have jumped in the fray to market to millennial and Gen Z demographics via popular meme accounts and social media influencers.

Growth of Sponsored Posts on Instagram

Democratic presidential candidate, Mike Bloomberg, made news with his #sponsored political posts on popular meme accounts @fuckjerry, @tanksinatra, and @kalesalad. Previously, Bloomberg had spent upwards of $1 million/day on Facebook ads and Business Insider estimated that he spent between $1-1.5M on the Instagram meme campaign.

New Data On Growth of #Ad & #Sponsored Posts On Instagram

In line with the growth and spend of influencer marketing, #ad and #sponsored posts have prodigiously increased on Instagram. At the start of 2017, #ad and #sponsored posts numbered ~3,442,000 and ~626,000, respectively. Fast forward to 2020, these have increased to ~12,336,663 (#ad) and nearly 3.3M (#sponsored).

Mediakix tracks this through the total mentions of the hashtags #ad and #sponsored. Additionally, it’s important to note that these numbers may be slightly inflated as some influencers spuriously post #ad or #sponsored to try to inflate interest in their accounts (but no one knows the extent of this activity).

During this time period, the FTC made several changes governing the proper way to disclose sponsored social media posts made by influencers and celebrities — namely, the use of #ad and #sponsored as approved means of disclosure. Other previous hashtags (e.g. #sp or #spon) were deemed improper use.

What Are Sponsored Posts On Instagram?

There are a few ways to advertise on Instagram. Primarily, advertisers can 1) either make use of Instagram’s native ad offerings or 2) work with influencers, meme and other Instagram accounts to create #sponsored or #ad posts both in the Instagram feed and in Stories.

#Ad or #Sponsored posts on Instagram are photos, videos and/or Instagram Stories/IGTV posts created and posted on a social media influencer’s channel promoting the sponsoring brand or advertiser’s product/service.

To create #sponsored or #ad posts (including photo, video, and Instagram Stories/IGTV posts) with influencers, brands or advertisers will oftentimes work with an influencer marketing agency to strategically and creatively craft content that will perform well with an influencer’s audience or following.

Sponsored Instagram Story

Why Sponsored Posts Have Increased Tremendously

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the growth of #ad and #sponsored posts on Instagram. At the start of 2020, mobile and tablet accounts for nearly 55% of global market share (vs. desktop, 45.39%). Similarly, time spent on digital has far surpassed traditional media at 395 minutes per day vs. 315June 2019 marked the first time people spent more time on phones vs. watching TV. Certain audience segments skewer even more towards digital making social media advertising a must to reach Millennials and Gen Z.

Time spent on Instagram is second only to Facebook at an average of 53 minutes per day. #Ad and #Sponsored posts on Instagram have increased due to both their viability and efficacy. While Instagram gives users an option to hide its native ads, #ad and #sponsored posts from social media influencers, meme, or accounts followed are frequently seen as regular posts especially if they are accounts users frequently visit or interact with.

What Makes Sponsored Posts Powerful & Effective Marketing?

Beyond their viability and efficacy, #ad and #sponsored posts with social media influencers, memes or feature channels function as today’s word-of-mouth and/or relationship marketing. Many of today’s millennials and Gen Z consumers look to and follow social media influencers, meme, and feature accounts to stay up-to-date on news, must-haves, and the latest products and services.

#Ad and #Sponsored posts can come from influencers of all different sizes and categories — from nano-influencers to micro-influencers to mega-influencers. Each type has their pros and cons and can (should) be leveraged differently and strategically for effective sponsored posts that drive engagement, likes, follows and/or sales.

TikTok vs Instagram: Who Wins Social Media In 2020 [INFOGRAPHIC]

TikTok vs. Instagram

Instagram’s influencer market is estimated to be worth over $1.7 billion dollars. More than half a million sponsored posts have been posted on Instagram in 2020 so far. While 89% of marketers say Instagram is the most important channel for influencer marketing, newcomer TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular platforms in the world in less than two years and a rising platform for influencers.


The Coronavirus stay-at-home order seems to have only escalated TikTok’s new user growth. TikTok became the most downloaded non-game app worldwide during March 2020 with more than 115.2 million installs. For comparison, in 2019,  Instagram only averaged 111.5M downloads per quarter.

Top brands like Chipotle, Mucinex, Walmart, and GymShark have all marketed to Gen Z users on TikTok using Sponsored Hashtag Challenge campaigns. As brands continue to become comfortable using TikTok as an influencer marketing channel, it is important to understand the key platform specifics that separate TikTok from Instagram.

We analyzed App store and Google Play data for marketers to better understand the two competing social apps based on downloads/installs, platform demographics, and specific features. See our finds presented below in the following infographic – TikTok vs. Instagram:



Instagram still has a larger audience than TikTok and has been downloaded more than 1.8B times globally. In November of 2019 Sensor Tower announced TikTok had reached the 1.5B download milestone. While Instagram leads over TikTok in overall downloads, the infographic shows TikTok’s new user growth rate is substantially higher than Instagram’s. This contrast in new user growth is largely due to the fact that TikTok is still a newcomer in the market while Instagram is maturing as an established social media app.

Instagram will turn 10 years-old in 2020 while TikTok remains the new kid on the block in a successful growth phase. While 2019 accounted for 28% of Instagram’s all-time downloads, TikTok was able to add 738 million new users in 2019, growing the app by 49% of its existing users in one year alone.

TikTok’s new user growth continues to top charts and in February 2020, TikTok was the most downloaded non-game app globally with nearly 113 million installs. This represents a near 96.5% increase compared to the app’s February 2019 installs.

As seen above in the “TikTok vs. Instagram Downloads” chart, the coronavirus seems to have had a much larger effect on TikTok downloads than Instagram downloads. While TikTok’s user growth topped charts in March, the quarantine also brought an influx of TikTok content to Instagram. This shift in content sparked many Instagram influencers to build TikTok accounts in search of more ways to entertain themselves and their followers.



Instagram is considered to be the leading app in influencer marketing. In our 2019 survey, 89% of marketers found Instagram to be the most strategically important social channel for influencer marketing. With an estimated $20 billion valuation, Instagram is a monolith in revenue and has so far earned over 113x more revenue than TikTok. Its $20 billion valuation is due in part to influencer marketing on the app, a market that we estimate to be around $1.7 billion.

While both apps are comparable in age demographics, geographically they differ. Out of Instagram’s 1.8 billion users, the United States leads with the highest representation at 12%. In contrast, India and Brazil remain the top two countries accounting for most of TikTok’s downloads, the US in the third-place with over 3%.

The two apps also have a varying degree of gender distribution. TikTok gender demographics show a male to female representation of 55.6% and 44.4%, respectively. TikTok’s slight male user preference contrasts with Instagram’s higher presence of female users, 65% female to 35% male.


TikTok’s ease of use has helped it become the foremost short-form video social media app in the world. TikTok’s simple premise focuses on lip-syncing, dancing, pranking, or other comedic acts.

In Instagram’s 10 year growth, it has transformed from a photo-focused format to Stories and IGTV and has become the leading app for brand social engagement. While TikTok and Instagram are similar in their app fundamentals, they have many features that distinguish them from each other.

TikTok currently does not have a long-form video feature, it’s video capabilities have a maximum of 15 seconds and the ability to loop for 60 seconds. Instagram’s long-form video feature, IGTV allows video length of up to one hour. IGTV is also in the works to monetize with creators.

While both apps have in-app purchase capabilities, TikTok has a virtual currency where users can award various virtual gifts to creators, not unlike many gaming sites such as Twitch. Since 2018, American users have spent over $23.1 million on TikTok’s virtual coin currency.

TikTok vs Instagram

TikTok Currency

TikTok and Instagram both have similar e-commerce shopping capabilities, while Instagram has had more time to fine-tune its features and position itself as an e-commerce platform. Instagram has it’s in-app shopping feature “Checkout”, as well as its widely used “Instagram Shopping” add-on which allows companies to tag products and direct users to a product link on their website.

instagram vs tiktok

Instagram Checkout

TikTok has a feature similar to Instagram’s “Checkout” where users can complete the purchase in-app through a retail partner. TikTok’s Sponsored Hashtag Challenge Plus allows companies to link products from their website through a sponsored hashtag campaign.

tiktok checkout feature

TikTok Checkout


These results indicate that in addition to gaining more users than Instagram, TikTok is also earning the attention of top power users. This trend is likely to continue and will affect the $1.7 billion dollar Instagram influencer market and influencer marketing as a whole.

As users and influencers alike emerge on TikTok, marketers should determine the proper channel(s) ( Instagram, TikTok, or both) to best suit their marketing needs.

Bloomberg's Instagram Meme Campaign Reaches Over 60M

political instagram campaign

Top Meme Pages Create Viral Content And Sponsor Presidential Candidates?

On February 11, 2020 Michael Bloomberg enlisted the help of top meme creators to spread awareness of his 2020 run for president. In a controversial influencer campaign that has many marketers reminiscing the Fyre Festival fiasco, Bloomberg’s sponsored posts managed to reach over 60 million people showing the true power of influencer marketing.

Read on to see the results of the campaign, 20+ sponsored posts, the response on social media, and more

Over 20 active top meme accounts created screenshot style posts of the presidential candidate’s direct message offer to “make him look cool.”


  • Generate awareness and conversation about Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy to jump start the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries
  • Appeal to younger voters whom Bloomberg might seem out of touch or are unfamiliar with
  • Create a funny, viral campaign and reach millions


  • Channel – Instagram
  • Influencers – All 20+ influencers posted the sponsored memes on February 12, 2020.


1. Fuck Jerry – 14.9M Followers

2. Shitheadsteve – 5.3M Followers

3. WhitePeopleHumor – 4.3M Followers

4. FourTwenty – 3.8M Followers

View this post on Instagram


Quick vibe check. (And yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Four Twenty (@fourtwenty) on

5. Cohmedy – 3.7M Followers

6. KaleSalad – 3.5M Followers


View this post on Instagram


I actually taste amazing tbh (and yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Memes (@kalesalad) on

7. GrapeJuiceBoys – 2.7M Followers


View this post on Instagram


I don’t get it ?? (Paid for by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by @ grapejuiceboys on

8. TheFunnyIntrovert – 2.4M Followers

9. Tank.Sinatra – 2.3M Followers


View this post on Instagram


Great job Mike… (Yes this is really sponsored by @mikebloomberg)

A post shared by Tank.Sinatra (@tank.sinatra) on

10. MoistBuddah – 2.2M Followers

More Posts

11. DrGrayFang – 2M Followers

12. TrashCanPaul – 1.8M Followers

13. MiddleClassFancy – 1.8M Followers

14. FuckAdvertisements – 1.4M Followers

15. Sonny5ideUp – 1.3M Followers

16. NeatDad – 1.3M Followers

17. GamersDoingThings – 1.3M Followers

18. NeatMom – 916K Followers

19. Adam.the.creator – 666K Followers

20. GolfersDoingThings – 572K Followers

21. DoYouEvenLift – 496K Followers

22. Mrs.DowJones – 117K Followers

23. DeportedChild – 2.5K Followers


  • The 20+ posts reached nearly 60M Instagram followers. For comparison, the campaign’s reach was more than the populations of California and New York combined. Michael Bloomberg’s Instagram account gained 47,193 followers overnight.


  • Likes: 1,483,398
  • Comments: 44,593
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 4.3%
  • Around 80% of meme accounts in the campaign had better than average engagement rates. Some had almost double the engagement rate on this sponsored post compared to their typical engagement rate on non-sponsored posts.

Political Instagram Campaign Response

The campaign was novel in it’s approach and broke new ground in terms of political campaigns and influencers. It had engagement similar to other content on the meme accounts, but for the most part more comments with many of the comments negative or promoting other candidates.

As to convincing younger voters, of the commenters, some expressed their opinion by unfollowing and commenting “unfollow” on all the accounts involved, while others explained frustration with comments like “i follow meme pages for laughs not politics.” Many of the memes left followers confused, wondering if it was a legit ad. Most Instagrammers were left unsure as to whether or not the humor was actually at the expense of Mr. Bloomberg.

Notable top meme influencers who did not participate in the political Instagram campaign include memezar -11.3 million followers, epicfunnypage – 16.7 million followers, among many others. Thefatjewish (11 million followers) publicly spoke out against Michael Bloomberg in an Instagram comment, saying “they asked me to do it, I said no.”

Another account Ole Murica (46.6K followers) posted a DM exchange where they can be seen refusing the presidential candidate’s offer to be “heavily compensated.” Per the typical tendencies of the internet, fake Bloomberg memes in the same format are going viral as well which makes it difficult to differentiate the authentic paid endorsements from other meme pages trying to get in on the action.

While political Instagram campaigns are no doubt controversial, WIRED warns that with the upcoming election, “Mike Bloomberg’s meme campaign is also only the beginning.”

Legalities of Political Ads on Instagram

Currently, the FTC’s guidelines say that public online communications advocating for the election or defeat of a candidate for a fee must include a disclaimer to inform who paid for the content. Instagram’s Help Center Guidelines read that in Feed or Stories, an ad about social issues, elections or politics is required to include information about who paid for them. All meme accounts seem to be Instagram and FTC compliant as they included a disclaimer of sponsorship in the caption. In fact, most meme influencers disclaimers’ shared exact wording “(Yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg).”

What Instagram Creator Accounts Mean for Influencer Marketing


Influencer marketing is right at home on its most prominent social media platform, Instagram. By 2020, Instagram influencer marketing is set to reach $2.3 billion.

With over 1 billion users, the network enjoys massive popularity among the general public and is central to the strategies of marketers across the world, who regard it as the most important social media channel for influencer marketing.

The growth of Instagram and its importance within marketing spheres has meant increased demand from brands and influencers to improve the level of support and resources to execute impactful marketing campaigns.

Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, launched its subscription feature to help support its creator community and boost the ability of influencers to make better use of the platform.

Instagram has followed suit with Instagram Creator Accounts, which grant users more flexibility and insights into how posts are performing for better campaign results.

What Are Instagram Creator Accounts?

Influencers and marketers who are familiar with Instagram marketing likely know that most create business profiles in order to get additional campaign insights.

With the introduction of Instagram Creator Accounts, even more insights are being offered to users. This includes the ability to manage posts and more comprehensive analytics options including:

  • audience demographics
  • weekly follower counts
  • reach / impressions

In its initial trial period, Creator Accounts were only available to those with over 10,000 followers. This has since been opened up to universal use for anybody.

Now, users can transfer their personal account or business account in a few short steps in the app’s settings. Once finalized, Instagram Creators have a set of tools in their repertoire.

4 Instagram Creator Account Tools

Here are four tools available through upgrading to an Instagram Creator Account:

1. Instagram Creator Account Insights

Creator Accounts are similar to business accounts in that they provide insights that regular users don’t have access to. Detailed insights range from gender, age, location, as well as which content your audience engages with most.

Instagram Creator Accounts also offer supplemental insights including:

  • net follower changes
  • graph of how many people followed or unfollowed you
  • all posts for the time series of your graph
  • recap of previous week’s follower growth that shows Feed and Stories posts for a given day

2. Instagram ‘Stories About You’

‘Stories About You’ is a dedicated feature exclusive to Instagram Creator Accounts which helps streamline the interaction process.

Previously, interactions with Stories that mentioned your handle took place in the inbox. Stories About You seeks to improve this process, aggregating all Stories mentions of you and turning them into a singular story reel.

This reel is accessed by tapping the heart icon, then ‘Mentions’ under ‘Stories About You’.

There are minor exceptions to how ‘Stories About You’ functions. For example, for private accounts which you do not follow, mentions from them will not be added to your reel. And when your account is mentioned by someone but they only share it with their close friends, you will not see this activity.

3. Instagram Creator Account 2-Tab Inbox

Creator Accounts add another tab to your existing inbox. The two tabs are labeled the ‘Primary tab’ and the ‘General tab.’

Primary tab: This is used for messages that have the highest priority for you, and you’ll continue to receive notifications as usual for this tab
General tab: This is for everything else. Direct messages which are moved here have notifications turned off by default, effectively meaning DMs are less of a hassle for those with substantial followings

4. IGTV Creator Episodic Series

As part of Instagram’s wider goal of muscling in on the long-form video market that has become such a boon for online video giants, IGTV has also seen the influence of creator tools benefit its functionality.

Keen as ever to diversify its content, Instagram has just launched a new toolset for the IGTV platform. This extensive update allows creators to organize their videos on a distinct page and denote episodes with a badge to differentiate them from other videos they create.

It also features an option to automatically play the next episode (similar to YouTube and Netflix’s autoplay functions), and the opportunity to turn on notifications for clips within IGTV series.

Benefits Of Instagram Creator Accounts For Influencers & Brands

There are many benefits for both influencers and brands with the addition of new Instagram Creator Account features to utilize, notably:

  • more in-depth insights into followers
  • filtered inbox for direct messages
  • more detailed creator profiles
  • Creator Studio access on desktop
  • ability to create shoppable posts with brands
  • more influencer data for better influencer discovery

Drawbacks Of Instagram Creator Accounts

There are still, however, a couple of shortcomings in the new offerings available with Instagram Creator Accounts:

  • can’t post content through the Creator Studio desktop platform
  • no API connection for third-party tools—the Instagram API only supports business profiles for third-party tools

Should You Switch To An Instagram Creator Account?

The benefits of upgrading to an Instagram Creator Account are there for all to see. The change definitely addresses some long-standing issues that influencers have had with the platform over the years, particularly with regards to insights and direct messaging.

At present, however, the lack of a connection between Creator Accounts and the Instagram API could prove to be a large stumbling block for many.

This will be the case for influencers and brands who have established routines and practices for their campaigns which will be disrupted by the inability to use third-party tools for analytics and auto publishing, for example.

What Instagram Creator Accounts Mean For Influencer Marketing

Instagram has always been ahead of the curve and shrewd in its ability to please its top talent with effective monetization opportunities. It’s the reason Instagram is still here and other social media networks, like Vine, have died off.

This latest effort, in conjunction with the recent announcement of the added tools for IGTV, seems to indicate that Instagram is focused on giving influencers added capabilities to aid their influencer marketing strategies.

As ever with social media, keeping your stars happy is a top priority. We just recently saw the boost Microsoft’s livestreaming service, Mixer, got when it tempted Twitch’s top streamer in a multi-year mega deal.

Instagram will continue to keep its biggest stars onside, which generally means giving them more creator tools, perks, and marketing opportunities.

The impact of totally removing support for third-party tools is one of the more interesting aspects of this update—something to keep an eye on as more users jump over to Instagram Creator Accounts. This has been a long-term strategy to bring influencers over to using their in-app analytics and insights, and the improvement of these services will be key to keeping them happy.