What will the removal of Instagram likes mean for influencer marketing?

Over the last couple of months Instagram has been trialling the removal of likes in several markets. This trial has had a mixed response of negative and positive opinions.

The removal will mean that users will not be able to see how many likes the people that they follow have received, however, users will be able to see the likes they have received themselves.

The idea behind it is that users will focus more on the photos and videos they share, and not how many likes the post is getting. Instagram has become a place where individuals compare their lifestyle and physical appearance, and when users get more likes than others, this encourages the act of comparison and could impact a person’s self-esteem. Removing likes may decrease the likelihood of users trying to compete with each other.

So, what will this mean for influencers?

The main reason that this potential movement has received so much negativity is due to the influencer economy. Influencers on Instagram rely heavily on visible engagements with promotional posts, and this change could impact the amount of brands that are willing to work with influencers, due to not being able to see the engagement they receive.

Some users believe that if Instagram make this a permanent change, then people will start to focus on other measures of validation on the app, such as how many followers, comments and shares they receive.

Also, some companies don’t look at engagement rates on posts, the main interest for them is measuring the actual online or in-store sales driven by the influencer’s posts. Therefore, the change might not be as damaging to influencers as some people think, and other ways will be found to measure the success of a post.

This removal of likes may also mean the increase in video content amongst influencers. The reason for this is that the influencers themselves may feel like they can be more creative if likes are taken away. Video is suspected to only grow in popularity and become the most favoured form of content, so it would make sense for influencers to create more video content. Companies could also see how many likes a video gets to measure the success.

It’s clear that there are positives and negatives for everyone if Instagram remove likes from the app, but what do you think? Let us know over on our Twitter if you think Instagram should remove likes or not.

References

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/should-instagram-get-rid-of-likes-11564071289

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/30/not-the-end-of-influencers-does-it-really-matter-if-instagram-gets-rid-of-likes