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Instagram becomes big medium to push ‘trade’ Govt eye on illegal phenomenon

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 3, (KUNA): The goal of some blog and Instagram users goes beyond the traditional purpose of social networking as Instagram, in particular, has become a major marketing platform. Bloggers and “Instagrammers” have been broadly advertising and marketing on their accounts both inside and outside of Kuwait due to the emergence of a new phenomenon where companies and agencies offer them to buy or sponsor their accounts in return for the promotion of their products.

On the contrary, some bloggers and Instagrammers refuse to sell their accounts so that they can moderate them themselves where they depend on providing information for their followers for free as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is working on controlling such a market since it is not subject to the law.

Any Instagram user can simply browse this fast photo sharing application’s pages to find accounts of young Kuwaitis with various interests, narrating their everyday experiences through pictures. Several companies and agencies turn to this method of marketing and advertising as it only takes a few clicks away from launching and promoting businesses into cyberspace to reach the public. The interaction process among bloggers, Instagrammers and owners of international brands turned into a beneficial relationship where the popular blogger or Instagrammer makes money by promoting the brand owners’ products such as clothes, accessories, foods, homemade crafts, as well as the promotion of tourism and art exhibitions.

Blogger Sundus Al-Qattan whose followers exceeded 600,000 told KUNA that her experience began since the beginning of Instagram’s launch with the encouragement of her sisters, relatives and friends who suggested she tries this application. She said that she initially encountered negative criticism from her followers, but later on, when the Kuwaiti and even the Gulf societies accepted this phenomenon, she started getting positive, interactive and supportive comments.

Al-Qattan added she currently is not sponsored by any company despite the offers she had received, because she wants to manage her account by herself without receiving any commercial profit. For her part, Instagrammer Mariam Dashti said her Instagram experience began by chance and without prior planning, and that is when she posted personal pictures on the application to be surprised by the positive reaction of many Instagram users, some of which invited her to attend significant events. She added she received encouragement from her family, especially her father, her husband and friends and that he has over 45,000 followers on her personal account. Instagram significantly refreshes the local market as “small businesses owners use it for the promotion of their projects,” Dashti noted. Hamad Al-Ali said he had a blog, which he had to shut down in order to create a Twitter and Instagram accounts due to these two social networking medium’s popularity.

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