A shoe company in China has come under scrutiny for using a very sneaky method of tricking people into swiping up on their Instagram story ads.
The trick is simple: All they did was upload their instagram like usual to their story, but included a single strand of “hair” in the middle of the advert. The idea is that people would think it’s real and try to brush it off their phone, a gesture which would make them swipe up on redirect them to the business’ page.
The show company, named Kaiwei Ni, was exposed after Venture Capitalist Blake Robbins tweeted his finding on Twitter.
There is a fake hair on this ad to get you to swipe up.
Someone needs to stop these “growth hackers.” pic.twitter.com/FpqMdMOP2m
— Blake Robbins (@blakeir) December 9, 2017
After hearing the news, Instagram released the following statement to The Verge:
“This ad violated Instagram’s policies and was removed from future delivery in Stories several weeks ago. We also disabled the account from advertising on the platform again.”
While it’s no question that Kaiwei Ni’s trick could be effective, it’s questionable whether it’s good for their brand equity in the long term.