Instagram has officially hidden likes from users in Canada as part of a test to see how users respond and if this major change to the platform should be rolled out to ALL Instagram users.
Keep reading to learn…
- WHY Instagram is hiding likes
- What the new design looks like
- How it works
- And the impact it could have on influencers and businesses.
- How to prepare for it.
WHY INSTAGRAM IS HIDING LINKS:
This is quite the shift to the culture of Instagram.
The number of likes a post gets is considered a metric of success. Some would even call it a status symbol on the platform.
During his recent keynote, Zuckerberg said, “We want people to be less interested in how many likes a post gets, and focus more on connecting with other people.”
WHAT THE NEW DESIGN LOOKS LIKE / HOW IT WORKS:
“As you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts,” explained Mark Zuckerberg. “You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see [the list], and if you have the time you can add them all up yourself.”
It looks like this:
That said… YOU can see how many likes you’re getting on posts, even if your followers can’t.
The number won’t automatically appear under the post, though. You’ll have to tap “others” under your blog post see how many have liked your post.
HOW WILL / WILL THIS AFFECT INFLUENCERS + BUSINESSES?
Truthfully, I’m not sure.
The first thought I had was that Instagram Stories don’t have any public metrics and that hasn’t stopped the platform from being the KEY reason Instagram’s popularity has grown exponentially since it’s launch (for both the every day user AND brands and influencers.)
The fact that your “like count” is out of sight means that the focus is on your content, rather than a number, and can allow you to post more freely… which I think can only be an AWESOME thing.
I imagine you’ll feel more able to experiment and less frustrated if something doesn’t work out the way you thought it would which ultimately, will make it possible for you to stay more consistent.
With regards to influencers and people who rely on brand affiliations, this could get tricky for you.
At the moment, how many likes you get is a big reason you get hired / don’t get hired.
But I agree with @davecoast! He said that he hopes this will be a “step in a more authentic direction, where brands start looking at other metrics that derive more meaning, like reach or impressions or saves.”
As for businesses on Instagram…
I can’t tell you how often I get emails from people saying things like “I want to stop posting pictures like this because it doesn’t get links.”
But then, when I read the analytics on the post, I actually find that this post did BETTER than all of their other posts because of how many link clicks / new followers / new comments / etc. it got.
My point is this: There are A LOT of factors that go into determining whether a piece of content is working for you and my hope is that — with a change like this — business owners are forced to look at other metrics which I think can only help them and the longevity of their brand.
I also hope this means that businesses will be more open to experimenting, which I think is the name of the game!
So now the next question becomes…
HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR THIS?
Personally, I’d start getting creative now.
If this is the direction we’re going, you want to get smart about your content.
A “like” is the easiest way for someone to engage with you. All it takes is tapping on that little heart under the picture.
So really, if someone is going to buy from you, you need MORE than a like. Likes just aren’t enough.
Now you’re forced to focus on ways to get more COMMENTS or DMs which I believe can lead to more brand loyalty, community building, and sales.
So for the next few months before we find out whether or not this will be a platform wide change, start to design content that focuses on other engagement metrics.
Not only is this a good move regardless of what happens to Instagram, but it will mean that you’re ahead of the game if Instagram ever makes this change official!
I want to hear from you. What do YOU think about this? Are you for hiding your likes or would you rather keep things the same?
Let me know in the comments!
PS: Want to be more strategic when it comes to your content? Learn more about my WHAT THE HECK TO POST monthly subscription here.