Last year, Instagram decided to hide the number of likes in the posts coming from seven different countries. The first country to experience this new step taken by Instagram is Canada. It was then followed by Japan, Italy, Australia, Brazil, as well as New Zealand.
This huge change left Instagram users wondering what the purpose of the company is. Some even questioned if that was the end of Instagram, especially for those that buy Instagram likes routinely as a marketing tactic. Numerous social media marketers were also bothered by the change that the company did. Of course, if they cannot see the likes on their posts, they will not know how their social media campaigns are doing.
While a lot of people were bothered by the said change done by Instagram, there are perhaps some benefits that could be got from it.
According to Mia Garlick, the director of policy for Facebook Australia and New Zealand, they hope that hiding Instagram likes will remove the pressure of how many likes posts will receive. This will help people to focus more on sharing the things they love on the platform. Garlick also added that the test's goal is to see if the change can help people focus more on telling their story instead of just gaining likes.
What is clear from Garlick's statement is that Instagram is trying to end the platform's toxic popularity environment. As everyone may know, many Instagram users are pressuring themselves to keep up with many major influencers. For this reason, the platform wanted to remove people’s mindset that the photos they post are not worthy without a high number of likes.
Still, a lot of people, especially social media influencers, are panicking. It is as if they think that they will no longer be considered popular or successful without the visible number of likes and engagement rates.
It is worth noting that while followers cannot see the number of likes a post has, the account who posted that content can still monitor its likes and engagement. For this reason, brands and influencers can still see which of their posts are performing and which do not.
While those who view the post, they will still be able to see the list of people who liked it. However, they will not be able to see the total number of likes. So, a quick scroll on the “liked by” tab of the post will allow Instagram users to see which of the posts on their newsfeed got the most and the least likes.
Just like any other feature on Instagram, hiding likes has its own pros and cons.
Smaller and newer Instagram accounts will blend in with giant Instagram accounts without thinking that they will look inferior. Therefore, small accounts on the platform will be given more credibility.
Also, those influencers who bot likes in the form of bots will be exposed. So, people will find out those influencers who grew their likes inorganically. By hiding Instagram likes, influencers will have to prove that they have organic influence through actions taken on their accounts, such as comments and link clicks instead of likes on their posts.
Removing Instagram users' ability to see likes will feel that the number of likes on their posts will no longer matter. So, they will be able to post anything freely without worrying that it will not get many likes. Truth be told, almost every Instagram users worry and stress how many likes their posts will get. This is something that Instagram is trying to eliminate.
Moreover, without seeing the number of likes, users’ attention will be focused on the things that really matter on the platform. Influencers and brands will focus more on getting people to take different actions on their accounts, including clicking links, commenting, and sending a DM. These actions are what every social media marketer must strive for because they lead to high ROI in sales and traffics.
If there is one real negative effect that this change in Instagram brings, it is the fact that perceived credibility on the platform will be lost. It is no secret that Instagram and other social media users base the popularity and brand authority of an account on the number of likes that its posts have.
Besides, people who are trying to buy products on Instagram will find a hard time knowing whether the account they are buying the product from is trustworthy or not. This can lead to a failure in purchasing a good product.
Measuring popularity and success on Instagram based on the number of likes you get is a vanity metric created by obsessed with getting thousands of likes. These likes give you an immediate rush. But if you did not get the number of likes you want, you crash, feel disappointed, frustrated, and even not good enough.
But this does not mean that Instagram likes are useless. If the likes you get are coming from your target audience, then that means that you are in the right direction.
However, likes are not the only measurement of success. There are plenty of other metrics that can give you a clearer measurement of your success on the platform. These metrics include link clicks, shares, comments, DMs, Story swipe ups, and contacts through email, call, or text. These actions are the ones that only those who are interested in what you are promoting will do. If people take the aforementioned actions, then it means that you have successfully spoken to them through your content. Besides, these actions are also an indication that they are interested in you and that you encouraged them to keep their attention to you and your brand.
Date: October 21, 2020 / Categories: Interesting, / Author: Joy P