Christmas is a time of indulgence. So is it really necessary to have our Instagram food pictures highjacked by a fitness app?
Health and fitness company Nomnom have been targeting Instagram users posting pictures of unhealthy food on their feeds.
Cycling blogger Jools Walker, whose 87 week old post of a portion of chips was commented on by Nomnom’s Instagram account, london.fitness.app, said:
“Is this the new way for fitness apps to get you to join them? By shaming you on your Instagram pictures of food?
“It’s an incredibly insensitive strategy, if you can call it that, to try and get people to ‘join your revolution’ by commenting on photos like that – if your intention is to make people feel atrocious for eating .”
Nomnom has distanced themselves from the strategy, saying it is the result of an external company they’re using, trying new forms of marketing.
Dianne Tanner has also been targeted, and started marking the messages as spam as soon as she realised the app was only commenting on her pictures of food.
@LadyVelo Its making me laugh now. At the time I was like DUDE THIS IS CAKE CLEARLY I AM NOT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE.
— ⚔ Dianne Tanner ⚔ (@diannespanner) December 14, 2015
It’s a common marketing tactic for social media platforms like Instagram to serve up adverts to users who fit their demographic, often using analytics from other social platforms like Facebook.
But to comment on users’ specific content, particularly when it can be seen as derogatory, takes the strategy to another level.
Nomnom, a fitness app and blog, describe themselves as a “community of thousands, where people daily help, encourage and motivate each other to reach their goals”.
Nomnom said they had been using an external marketing firm to test out new strategies and were unaware that pictures of fatty food were being targeted by them to promote their app.
Speaking exclusively to Westminster World, Nomonom CEO Shan Hanif said:
“We have been testing the use of Instagram as a platform for interaction, I’m not sure why we’re connecting with images like this.
“If anything we should be motivating and encouraging people with our marketing; this seems to be the opposite of that.”
Hanif also said he would be speaking to the external firm responsible for the comments and is happy to put a stop to the targeted marketing “immediately” if there are plans to continue with the campaign.