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Social Media

Aspiring Instagram Influencer? There's Now a School For That

Condé Nast Italia is literally training influencers to use social media more authentically.

This article was originally published by i-D Australia.

Early this week, Condé Nast Italia opened the doors to their Social Academy, a school they've established to "train" influencers. As WWD reports, Condé Nast Italia chief executive officer Fedele Usai sees it as the Academy's mission to educate a new guard of social media users on subjects like transparency, quality content, and sponsorship disclosures. “This is our social responsibility, we have to train people. And if one day a company will need trained and professional influencers, we will be the only ones to be able to provide them,” Fedele said.

Recently, a number of American celebrities have come under fire for failing to disclose that posts endorsing certain products were paid for by brands. The Federal Trade Commission is now cracking down on paid Instagram posts acting as personal endorsements, asking celebrities to include "#Ad" clearly in their captions.

Condé Nast Italia’s editorial director and corporate communication director Luca Dini sees the Social Academy's mission as twofold. He's also eager to break down the barrier between bloggers and the heritage media, explaining, “We’re here to dispel a false myth, that influencers are the enemies of media companies.”

According to WWD, upon completing 240 hours of lessons, graduates will join Condé Nast’s existing network of 300-odd influencers, armed with knowledge of everything from photo editing (easy enough, no?), audience management, and the more vague "communication strategies."