Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Instagram removing likes. Both brands and influencers have expressed their opinions on this. While some are enraged, others see the change as a positive one.
What does Instagram removing likes mean for small businesses and influencers?
Instagram has officially announced that some users will not be able to see the number of likes that other users’ pictures have received, nor the number of times other people’s videos have been viewed. However, they will still be able to see the number of likes and views their own posts have received.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
Why is Instagram removing likes?
Studies have shown that seeing the number of likes posts get sends a rush of dopamine to the brain. This makes social media highly addictive and affects the brain in a manner similar to gambling.
Social media has been linked to mental health issues among young people, and a 2017 study also revealed Instagram is the social media platform that is the most detrimental to young people’s mental health.
This move also comes in the wake of Instagram introducing a slew of new tools and policies to prevent bullying on the app.
What does Instagram removing likes mean for businesses?
Although many praise Instagram for its actions, some are concerned about what these changes mean for brands and influencers. But things might not be as bad as they seem.
Brands who promote services or products on Instagram will need to simply shift away from vanity metrics and place more focus on time spent on the platform, engagement, views, and actual sales.
One upside is that businesses will be forced to think harder about creative and what is going to resonate with audiences, driving quality over quantity from a content perspective.
Many social media marketers also agree that removing likes is a positive step towards making social media a less competitive place.
Is Instagram trying to hurt influencers?
Typically, influencers use a record of the numbers they can accumulate on Instagram to show potential clients that they can reach a ton of people. Without the likes to prove engagement, it can be harder for potential clients to see their worth immediately.
However, Instagram’s decision forces brands to look at reach and impressions and choose accounts users genuinely love.
This means influencers will need to provide screenshots of insights and post performances. That includes saves and comments, something that some brands already look for in Stories.
Bottom line, Instagram’s decision will generate some changes in the dynamics of the platforms. However, influencers will not be severely affected by it.
Stories, the solution to Instagram removing likes
Social media marketers view Instagram’s decision to hide likes as a strategy to push users towards “Stories”. The platform thinks the future is in short-form videos, not static images.
Because of this, they’re focusing on strategies to increase consumer consumption rate of video. They want to get more creators to make videos and increase the ROI of advertisers leveraging video.
With that shift, metrics will also have to shift. Time spent on the platform, engagement, views, and other metrics will prevail as KPIs.
The great thing about Instagram Stories is that you can get as creative as you’d like. There’s also a ton of new apps popping up that make designing high-quality stories easier than ever. If you’d like to learn more about how you can use Instagram Stories for Business, check out this guide.
No need to worry too much, though. Influuu can help you grow your Instagram following, no matter how many times Instagram’s algorithm changes.