Instagram’s Hiding Likes — What It Means For The End Users

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Instagram are removing Likes starting in Canada, then moving to Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand — 7 countries in total! 😱

They say it’s to try to ease pressure on content creators, and help stop bullying. Are those countries full of bullies? I don’t know…

But what it could mean is this: IG make money from advertising — and what’s great way to stand out on the platform as an influencer? By having the most likes OR paying for advertising. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bigger motive for hiding likes is to increase the need to pay for publicity — and so drive ad spend.

Now switch the focus to any businesses with an influencer marketing strategy — they’ll seriously need to rethink how they find ‘genuine’ influencers. Maybe number of comments will become the new indicator instead of likes.

What do you think?

Photo by Julián Gentilezza on Unsplash

For end users this could mean a few things — and it’ll be different depending on if you’re a follower or influencer. So here’s what I think…

For followers:

  • Could be confusing — how will they know what to like if nobody has already liked it? The whole thing about Likes is Social Proof which drives engagement — if everybody else likes it, you’re more likely to like it too. That’s just how most people are wired. Yep I said it — we’re sheep! 🐑 😅
  • So in terms of actual metrics, that would mean less engagement — more scrolling through mindlessly.
  • I think a lack of likes will also make the place feel a bit like a ghost town to be perfectly honest…
Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

For influencers, it’ll depend on where you sit in the food chain.

  • Serious influencers (really popular ones with thousands of followers) will lose out and probably see a drop in engagement & revenue. In the past, followers were influenced by the number of likes — but those days are gone.
  • What I think we will see is a lot of screenshots of likes being shared. Because while public facing likes are being removed — creators can still see how their posts did. So I’d imagine that with the way some people are, they will find a way to brag about their popularity in some way…
  • For wannabe influencers — people who crave the attention but just can’t seem to crack it with massive followings — I think they’ll be better off.
  • There will be less pressure and they’ll feel less judged. Less heartbreak overall methinks. 💔 Their posts might still not get likes — but at least nobody can see now!
Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

It’ll be a better experience overall — I have kids myself, and I do think it’s a dangerous place for young people to compete and for the majority it probably is better that competitive aspect is now hidden.

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