Instagram hides likes -Everything you need to know – why, implications & strategy

Earlier this year, it was announced that Instagram would be hiding likes, although it hasn’t reached England yet, it has been rolled out in various other countries starting in Canada.

Why you ask? 

There has been a lot of negative press around Social Media and the effects it has on mental health, the world is already very fickle and being judged by the amount of likes a post gets forces people to feel under pressure which results in less posting and less engagement which isn’t great for the app or for those using it.

Although Instagram says the reason for doing this is due to trying to stop it being a popularity contest, I personally believe, this change could also be a result of them wanting people to spend more time on the app. If people don’t feel the pressure of likes, they will post more often and spend more time on Instagram. At the end of the day, Instagram is still a business, so if the amount of users decrease, this will impact how people advertise with the app.

How does this effect influencers? 

The second reason for this change is due to influencer marketing, Influencer sponsored content is still the best-performing stuff on Instagram, I personally find this really interesting, over the years, there has been a rise in influencers, having worked with some as a client, a lot of the time, when negotiating a fee, one of the KPI’s is the ability to attract likes to a post. This change means the content shared by influencers will need to result in more tangible results, using an influencer and building a fan base is great but what about conversion rate? The removal of likes will help filter out the real influencers from those who’s influence doesn’t necessary lead to results, because if the collaboration doesn’t result in sales, how justifiable is the money spent on influencer marketing?

What does this change actually mean?

In a recent article by Mobile Marketing, the following was cited:

Under the test, people will still be able to see all photos and videos in their feeds as usual. However, only the person who posted content will be able to see their likes and view counts.

“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” said Instagram on Twitter. “You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.”

What should you be doing now? 
  1. Videos

The introduction of IGTV was a massive hint as to where IG wanted the app to go to. Instagram have claimed that now popularity will be based on quality content and using video is one way you can ensure your message is heard.

2. Stories

You would have noticed engagement on stories improve over the last few months, this is because Instagram want you to be making more use of stories. You may not have even consciously noticed the urge to scroll right instead of down, I personally believe the popularity of stories is massively to do with our short attention span – another interesting observation.

3. Collaborations

Want to grow a genuine following? Find the right people to collaborate with, tap into people who share your audience and work out new and creative ways you can collaborate with them online and offline. Your strategy should never just be online, connecting with people offline is just as important for growth and helps you to get some great content.

More help please

Got any more questions about this or need some virtual support with your Instagram Strategy, send me an email on info@renuravalia.com or head over to my Instagram here for more FREE advice – @iamrenuravalia

If you are East Midlands based, the next Instagram Workshop takes place on 5th September, you can learn more here.

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