Find out about the Instagram algorithm changes and the Instagram algorithm updates.
Is this the death of Instagram as a marketing platform and how will this affect you as a business owner, influencer, and an Instagram user?
Instagram has already started hiding likes in Canada back in May, and has gone on to run their tests in several other countries including Italy, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Ireland, and New Zealand.
So why is Instagram running an experiment on hiding likes anyway?
According to Instagram’s pop up, they mentioned this “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.”
So while your followers scroll through their feed, they will actually not be able to view the number of likes that your post has. Thankfully, we are still able to view the likes on our own posts.
So, the first thing that came to my mind when I heard this was:
How will this affect me as a business owner, and how will this affect my business and interactions that I have with my existing clients and potential prospects?
And this is a very important question to ask as a business owner, because in this generation, we rely heavily on social media marketing for our businesses. It not only affects digital marketers but it affects everyone who uses Instagram as a marketing platform for their business.
From my perspective, if I can’t view the number of likes that a post has, I will be less likely to like it because people can’t see the likes anyway. And if most people think the same way as me, that would decrease the overall interaction and engagement on the social media platform.
Also, since likes can’t be viewed by other users, it may be more difficult for brands who work with influencers to measure the success of an influencer marketing campaign.
Instead of looking at likes, brands will need to look at other Key Performance Indicators such as comments, reach, impressions and saves, which will require influencers to share their Instagram insights with them, and that may be a bit more work for them.
However, I would not say it’s the end of influencer marketing since there are other KPIs that can be measured, because likes do not determine the quality of the engagement that a post receives.
Likes and comments can be bought, but fake comments are generic and easy to spot. Genuine comments are meaningful and creates positive interactions that determines the quality of engagement received.
Now this leads to the question, how will this affect you as an influencer?
I’m pretty sure most of you are aware of the meltdown that Australian influencer Mikaela Testa had when she recorded a video of herself crying, with regards to Instagram removing likes because being an influencer is a real job.
Many influencers make a full time income from what they do, by working with brands and most people perceive that this change is going to cause real damage to the influencer industry.
There are also other sources citing that this is a move so that Instagram can monetize from ads, so that brands will look to Instagram ads instead of influencer marketing.
While there is some truth in that, I would also say this is not the end of influencer marketing because people are still more likely to trust an influencer compared to a random ad that they see by a company which they have not heard of.
So if you are an influencer and you are panicking after hearing this news, think about it.
Even though likes cannot be viewed by your followers, they have been following you for some time and they have a relationship with you.
They love your content, value your feed and they trust what you say. Brands are aware that the connections that users have with influencers are more intimate, so I doubt that this is going to change much.
Because once again, as I’ve mentioned, there are many other metrics that can be measured and likes are just a vanity metric, so it’s not something that should freak you out.
If your engagement on Instagram is high, your posts will still show up at the top of your followers’ feed, and in the Instagram explore page under the top posts for the various hashtags that you are using.
Hence, brands will still be able to search for you and measure the success of their campaign based on your engagement levels.
However, if you are starting out though, it will definitely be harder to get up there as an influencer because the competition is tough, and you will be competing with those who already have very high engagement levels.
But I would say it is still possible. I mean, with every business and in every industry, there is already competition out there.
There are definitely industries that are more competitive than others so it’s your choice to decide which is best for you.
Does that stop you from starting a business because someone else is doing it?
There’s always going to be competition but it’s the toughest one who keeps going consistently who makes it to the top. The ones who don’t make it are the ones who give up halfway because they don’t see results.
So this is my take on the influencer marketing industry and let’s move on to how this will affect regular users.
How will this affect users?
From another perspective, the stress will be taken off users because they will no longer compare themselves to other users because they can’t view the number of likes another user has received, and some sources have stated that this measure taken by Instagram is for the “good for mental health”.
According to a study by the Royal Society for Public Health, Instagram was found to be the worst social media platform for teens and young adults’ mental health, and that the regular use of Instagram has been associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO (“fear of missing out”).
Do you think that Instagram should be hiding likes and how do you think this will affect us? Have you been part of the test group affected and how did it turn out for you? Do leave your opinion in the comments!
If this video has helped you, like, comment, share and don’t forget to join the Boss Babes Rocking – Women Entrepreneur Network community on Facebook if you want to join a community of like-minded boss babe entrepreneurs, freelancers and aspiring influencers, where I share up-to-date social media and Instagram marketing advice to help you and your business grow.
If you want to learn how to grow your influence on Instagram and gain Instagram followers organically, check out this video. And if you want some Instagram content creation tips to help you save time and improve your productivity, do check out this video too!
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