The counterfeiting problem is no longer just limited to offline spaces. Today, it’s just as severe online as it is offline. Social media has provided a platform that seems to support this culture more. For this reason, it’s almost become normal to see tons of counterfeiters on Instagram. In this article, we examine Instagram and the counterfeiting problem, especially for those interested in online brand protection services, as offered by Wiser Market.
Unless you’re a truly experienced buyer, the authentic-looking products you see on Instagram are likely to entice you. Sadly, you may only realize the folly of your ways much later after parting with your hard-earned cash. On top of that, you only need to scroll your way down through Instagram to encounter more fake products than you can imagine. The good news is that Instagram is taking the issue seriously and putting anti-counterfeiting strategies in place.
Most intriguingly, researchers are unable to differentiate between the fake and real. That’s quite worrying considering that researchers tend to be more knowledgeable than ordinary consumers. Despite all that negativity, it’s good to see Instagram trying to stop this trend. To this end, the social media platform uses state-of-the-art technology. It combines these with keyword searches and hashtags effectively. IP protection has also proved to be quite potent!
For years now, economists have been calling the counterfeiting problem, an underground economy. Most interestingly, this underground economy seems to affect some of the biggest brands. In this regard, you would find brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Adidas, and Louis Vuitton among others. Courtesy of this economy, brands have lost an estimated $98 billion to the counterfeiting problem.
Why do Counterfeiters Target Instagram?
The one question lingering in most people’s minds is why Instagram has become such a target. What is it about the social media platform that makes it quite attractive to counterfeiters? For starters, the fact that more than 1 billion users are on Instagram makes it a highly lucrative platform. Secondly, most consumers are already open to the idea of buying products online. What is more, many retailers and sellers trade online on Instagram too!
Effect on Consumers
The counterfeiting issue is particularly problematic to consumers for various reasons. For starters, they are likely to buy untested and unproven products. That way, they end up using harmful items that force them to seek treatment in medical institutions. Many times, consumers encounter mercury and other heavy metals. Later, they are then diagnosed with damaged internal organs and nervous system as well as chemical burns and simple rashes.