YouTube is a unique platform that has allowed its creators to have free reign over their content. However, in recent years this has begun to drastically change.
One of the main reasons why more and more big-name influencers such as Zoella (Zoe Sugg) and the SacconeJoly’s amongst others are considering leaving the platform is because of the extensive changes to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations associated with new marketing approaches and the differentiation between paid advertisements and organic content.
Although it can be argued these changes were inevitable as the platform gained traction, it does not diminish from the reality that this increase in transparency has caused mixed reactions from viewers.
In addition to this, social media marketing teams and influencers alike also need to be aware that there has been a shift in power from consumers pulling the information they desire through opting-in and being selective.
Schmidt (2007) outlines that this makes it crucial that companies clearly follow the FTC guidelines and aim to build strong online relationships with their audiences so that consumers are able to build trust with them and the products that they are being clearly paid to advertise.
Especially because in today’s over-saturated social media market audiences are able to chop-and-change their preferences with immediate effect.
Are you one of the many viewers who is confused about why your favourite YouTuber or Influencer suddenly started posting more #Ads or #Gifted? Well check out the link below for more information about how these changes will continue to evolve over the next few years.
What lengths will the FTC go to in order to protect consumers. Some clear implications from these changes are that these regulations create greater accountability for social media marketing companies and influencers, but there is no denying that many influencers may lose subscribers as many viewers have a negative connotation associated with #Ad.
Additionally, it may cause the need for influencers to change the way they use platforms such as Youtube so that their main content is not always an advertisement or affiliate link. This could potentially cause the end of Youtube as we know it.
Comment down below and join the conversation about your thoughts on these new regulations and the impact you think it has on influencers and social media marketing as a whole.
External Reading and References:
Schmidt, D. (2007). Pull to push: The new E-marketing process. Public Relations Tactic, 14(5), 11-12.
YouTube. (2016). WHY I WANTED TO QUIT YOUTUBE! [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKCaHN28AHs
YouTube. (2019). Day At The Beach With Joe, Dianne & Zoe [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa9_hCs16tQ