This is something that really irks me.
As someone who follows a lot of bloggers or ‘social media influencers’, I want to know that the content I’m investing my time (and maybe even money) in is a true reflection of that person’s beliefs. With the rise of blogging as a full time job, money-driven minds seem to have disregarded the idea of disclosing whether your random Instagram post about some teeth whitening product is sponsored. Perhaps it’s because these laws have not fully been put in place by the UAE yet, whereas Europe and America have absolutely crystal clear regulations.
Apparently one of the main reasons cited by bloggers as an excuse for not properly communicating is that some platforms, namely Twitter’s 140 character rule, don’t offer enough space. But did you know, the words ‘Sponsored’ and ‘Promotion’ use only 9 characters. ‘Spon’ only uses4 characters. And ‘ad’ or ‘#ad’ only uses 2 or 3 characters.
Unfortunately, there are a few bloggers in Dubai, who I’ve always enjoyed following, that are becoming increasingly commercial. Sporadic Instagram posts about brands or products that do not fit their signature style can be spotted a mile off. Yes, this lack of disclosure may appeal in the short term (at the end of the day, everyone’s gotta pay their bills!), but it does nothing to building goodwill and trust with your followers.
I have absolutely no problem with sponsored content or paid social posts – I mean, I’ve even do a few myself – but a lack of honesty and transparency is exactly what’ll get you unfollowed in my books!