Rights Requesting Best Practices


This article provides information regarding requesting rights best practices.


Use links sparingly

We believe that adding links and additional hashtags to your comments raises the likelihood of being shadowbanned or flagged as SPAM, especially when using common URL shorteners like bit.ly. Depending on the size of your account you may be able to use inline links more successfully, but links can be an issue for smaller accounts. We suggest including links to terms and conditions or another legal language in a link posted in your account bio versus in a rights request. An added bonus is more space to make your comment unique.

Engage outside of rights requests

Maintain a healthy relationship with your followers by engaging in the conversation on Instagram, liking and commenting on posts beyond requests for rights. This not only builds community and a good reputation but makes your account less likely to be flagged as SPAM in the future.

Know from whom you are requesting rights

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many brands forget to check out the user before requesting rights to one of their images. Click over to the user’s profile and see what it says. Do they align with your brand values? Are their other posts appropriate for your audience? Are they a professional of some sort or an influencer?  Accounts belonging to real-estate companies, hotels, professional photographers, event planners, and top influencers are the least likely to accept requests for rights. While this may not always be the case you may have better luck connecting with smaller restaurants, businesses, and amateur photographers. Local and smaller businesses may be more interested in the exposure and cross-promotion and will be more unique to your location and add authenticity. As always, use your best judgment as these are only our observations and not hard and fast rules.

Keep comments unique

Taking the time to make each comment unique to the person from whom you are requesting rights goes a long way. Read the caption, be relevant, and use your brand’s voice.

Hashtag Usage

Instagram shadowbans hashtags that have been used in associated with content that is in violation of their terms of service. If you end up using one of those hashtags, posts will not show up for users that search for content with this hashtag, though your content is still live on Instagram. Abused/ flagged hashtags can effectively “break” the rest of your hashtags and cause you to not show up in searches for any of them. We recommend rotating between a couple of different acceptance hashtags and making sure your audience is @mentioning you.

Train users to @mention your brand

Encourage your audience to bring your brand into the conversation by using @mentions; include a reminder in your own Instagram posts, bio, and any other marketing materials. Making this standard practice means you will be notified when a user wants to engage with your brand, creating more inbound material.

Group your requests by theme

Create template groups by theme so that when you request rights allowing Chute to choose templates for you by group they can be more unique. At a basic level, you could set up a group for food photo requests, another for local attractions and a third for activities. Make your templates unique to your location and brand interests. 

Craft creative, authentic messages

Avoid messages that are very generic, impersonal, or overly automated. Spend time crafting several message varieties that include messages about what might have caught the moderator's eye about the photo. Change up the message for every photo you reach out to. Make sure all message varieties are approved by legal teams ahead of use.

Tell users how you specifically plan to use the asset

Tell the users how you specifically plan to use the photo or video. Try to be as specific as possible. For instance, "using it in social media" is not as specific as "using it in a Brand's Fall Product Campaign". 

Only ask for permission if you plan to use the asset

A great photo or video tells an amazing story. Only ask for permission to the best photos coming into Chute. Asking for permission to use everything creates community spam and makes it harder for an end user to see the most amazing photos. Astute curation should be the goal, not mass collection.



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