Back in April Instagram announced that it would start a process trialling the removal of likes on posts. Initially, only a few accounts were affected. However, the site has now announced that next week US accounts will find their likes hidden. And, the post creators themselves will be the only one to see them if and when they need to.
But why do this and what does it mean for Marketing?
Social Media And Mental Health
Instagram has always insisted that the main reason for removing likes lies heavily with its impact on mental health and young users. More and more users were relying on likes to give themselves validation and younger audiences were seen removing their posts if they didn’t get enough likes.
Therefore, removing likes could be a way for users to regain control and “remove the pressure” young people have on posting and receiving likes. If so, this could be a revolutionary move for the social network that comes under fire for not caring enough for its users.
Could It Be A Way For Instagram To Make More Money From Ads?
Some influencers think that rather than being for the good of its users Instagram are actually doing this to reclaim money from the Influencer Marketing industry. Think of it like this, if you can’t see how many likes a sponsored post got, can you tell if it was well-received? Also, without seeing the like count on influencer’s Instagram accounts how can brands tell if they are getting good engagement levels?
Rather, influencers feel as though this is a way for a brand to start paying Instagram more for ads. This is because they won’t be able to see how well their influencers are doing. It’s very cynical, but influencers do have a point that this update would make their industry harder and Instagram main site ads more appealing if not as effective. Therefore, maybe your business will move from Influencers into creating more Instagram direct ads?
What Does This Mean For Your Brand’s Marketing Strategy?
If your brand has previously relied heavily on the platform and likes this update may mean a few changes for your business. By taking away the big number on your posts this may leave your customer questioning the popularity of your brand. However, does this lack of numbers not mean that brands have an increasing desire to create good quality content instead?
We predict that this update will lead to a “quality over quantity approach”. Especially, as businesses strive to create better content to ensure they are seen online even without likes.
What do you think of the update? Are you worried about your brand? Or are you curious as to how this update will impact users and brands? Let us know by joining in the discussion on social media.