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Instagram Badges: Will they be used Ethically?

Instagram Live Badges are the latest release by Instagram. Its aim is to financially assist influencers. It appears there are some moral problems with this new feature. Will influencers just utilise this feature for monetary gain or give the money to a charity? I guess we have to wait and see…

The main idea behind it comes from the 70% rise of Instagram live videos during lockdowns. Of course, Instagram saw a monetization opportunity and jumped on it. Here’s some information about the Live Badges:

  1. How does it work? Audience members show their support by giving badges to their favourite creators during a live video. The badge will stand out in the comments section amongst other comments. In some cases, the badge will give access to additional features.

  2. What’s the price? There are three tiers to receive hearts. 1 heart is 99c (USD), 2 hearts for $1.99 (USD), and 3 hearts for $4.99(USD).

  3. Who can use it? At the moment it’s available in Australia, Italy, Brazil, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Mexico, France, and Turkey.

Personally, I think it’s very greedy to give this feature to big influencers that already get huge sponsorship deals to receive more money. Given the target market for these live videos would be teens and young adults, to me, it seems very unethical to be asking for money from this demographic. However, if these large influencers raise money for a charity then this Instagram feature would be morally okay to promote.

This feature would be beneficial to small accounts that are starting to grow to earn some income to assist in paying for photoshoots, props, equipment, or anything else needed to create content. If in turn, the audience members received bonus content as a token of appreciation.

Since most of the world is still in lockdown the live badge element would be a cool concept to allow photographers, graphic designers, fitness instructors, and other creators to make teaching workshops and lessons for audience members. Then it would be appropriate to ask audience members to give a small amount of money to pay for that class.

What do you think about this new feature now? Has it changed your mind? Let us know in the comments section below your thoughts on this new feature!

Written by our intern, Kirsty Panting.

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