Social media has become a marketing/business hub for a lot of businesses and influencers and the news of Instagram hiding likes from viewers isn't a very exciting thing to hear.
As an influencer, your likes are your selling point, and likewise as a marketer but imagine your potential customers or clients are denied the ability to see how much like your page gets.
Just late last week, the news about Instagram hiding likes in six countries; (as first reported by TechCrunch): New Zealand, Ireland, Brazil, Australia, Italy, and Japan became known. This news comes only a couple months since their initial announcement of testing the feature, indicating that the social media giant plans to double-down on the update.
We ran a Twitter poll based on the news, asking our followers whether they buy into the idea of 'invisible likes'.
Out of 14 votes, 21% thinks its the best, 43% thinks its not good while 36% voted 'not bothered'.
What Instagram says is behind the new feature:
Ever since their executive shakeup that resulted in Instagram's original founders being softly pushed out of their positions only to be replaced with Facebook loyalists, Instagram has been toying around with features they're claiming will make their platform a safer place for their users -- from hiding Likes to their recent anti-bullying updates.
While the intention behind these features might be well and good, the changes make the product stray from the core things that made Instagram spread like wildfire in the first place- from the platform deciding which content you see to the end-user being in control of their in-app experience.
According to Inc., one can't help but wonder if Facebook is using the Instagram company as a buffer, or band-aid, for their own recent mishaps and privacy scandals, which have caused many users to lose faith in the platform.
Instagram is telling the world that the motive behind the feature is to protect their users from focusing on vanity metrics- they believe users are not paying enough attention to the message the content is trying to pass on.
I call that bluff - The move is clearly meant to increase advertising dollars by cutting off the Instagram Influencer Marketing Industry and to appease advertisers by making them less mindful of the likes ads drive versus the reach the ads receive.
But then again I may be absolutely wrong.
But stop and think for a second and ask yourself why really is Facebook bent at ruining the initial idea behind Instagram.
Facebook is continually showing they're becoming the out-of-touch, 'granny' of the social media landscape- one prone to shamelessly cloning products instead of creating their own unique ideas, one that neglects the privacy of their users and puts user experience in the backseat to make room for advertisers. Now that Facebook essentially controls all facets of Instagram, this is simply a move in the same direction.
Colossal hit on the influencers market.
Like I earlier stated, this will be an enormous hit to the influencer marketing industry, which relies greatly on likes as a measurement for brands to calculate an influencer campaign's success or failure.
Currently, Instagram receives no cut from the influencer marketing industry -- so this move makes financial sense given how it would entice brands to allocate budget to Instagram ads instead.
To stay afloat this new development you should start investing in other platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Linkedin, and many others.