Are giveaways on Instagram legal?

7 Instagram Contest Rules To Answer the Question

Are giveaways on Instagram legal? The short answer is, yes. The long answer is if you follow the below guidelines, use common sense for anyone running an online business and are fair and clear to all of your followers, your Instagram contest will be perfectly legal! 

Let’s take a look at the 7 rules to follow to ensure your own contest’s legality. 

1. Entry to your contest is free 
If entry to your contest is not free, the competition is technically gambling and falls under strict, separate guidelines and jurisdiction.  

2. In a prize drawing, a winner is chosen RANDOMLY from applicants 
In a prize drawing, when a winner is chosen, they must be selected at random. Failure to choose a winner at random is not legal.
The best ways to do so are with random name selection programs, most of which are free and readily available online without downloading a program.

3. A winner is announced publicly and clearly 
When a winner is selected, it is important that winner is announced according to data privacy regulations and to your previously-stated guidelines and is clearly displayed on social media, via email or otherwise. 

4. Instagrams affiliation – or lack of – is clearly stated 
Instagram’s lack of endorsement must be stated for legal purposes. Instagram typically has NO affiliation with contests hosted on the platform and that must be in writing, somewhere within the rules of your contest.

5. Tax Law on Sweepstakes Prizes
For example, in the United States prizes of over $600 must be reported to the IRS! This is important for both the host and the winner to know.

6. Correct tagging and mention of sponsors or partner brands 
In order for the contest to remain legal, fair and also benefit both parties, correct mention of sponsors or partners must be listed somewhere. 

7. Rules for entrance are clearly stated and followed
You must state all of the above rules clearly and in an easy-to-locate place on your contest’s page. Not clearly defining the terms and conditions or rules to the contest is both unfair and – in some situations – can be illegal. 

These are the basics behind hosting your own Instagram contest! Whether you’ve always wondered “how do I do a giveaway on Instagram?” or are just opening up to the concept now, this is a great place to get started! We hope it helps!

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