• Brooke Pianalto

Your next Instagram post might not get any likes...Here’s why

As of July 17th, Instagram is testing removing likes on your feed in 7 countries.

You will still be able to see your personal like count, but the comparison game in feed will cease to exist on this platform. For brands that use vanity metrics as a valued measure, this may flip their measurement capabilities upside down (not a concern at Inmar as we place value on verified metrics).

Why remove likes?

An Instagram representative told TIME, “the goal of removing likes is to get followers to focus on the content of your image, not the popularity.” Instagram Press has also released an article titled “Leading the Fight Against Online Bullying” that shares their passion for eliminating online bullying at a platform level and the steps they are making to lead that effort, including the ability to hide comments, reports comments as inappropriate, and remove likes. This will remove the “popularity contest” and negative comments in feed for users. More youths experienced cyberbullying on Instagram than any other platform at 42 percent, with Facebook following close behind at 37 percent. From a Corporate Social Responsibility standpoint, I applaud Instagram for leading the charge and doing something about this social issue. As a millenial, Instagram addict, I will miss being able to affirm photos I like with a little pink heart, but I am willing to exchange that for a *positive* comment on photos I really love.

How does this impact Influencers?

“We could see more importance placed on content quality along with the quality of engagements – comments on Instagram, for example,” said Logan, Are commenters simply leaving a quick emoji or are they truly engaging with the influencer or creator? Can we identify sentiment or indicators of purchase intent with the language used in comments?

Ali Kirby, Director, Community Growth & Business Development at Inmar, shared her opinion on this platform change and how it will impact our Community. “Removing likes could inadvertently place more emphasis on reach and perpetuate more fraud within the industry. Companies that do not have backend data are forced to evaluate the data that they do have - engagements {primarily likes} & reach. Currently many brands are attempting to strike a balance between the two by determining an engagement rate. This formula would take a dramatic shift with the removal of likes.”

Removing Likes is Great for Agencies

Agencies, like Collective Bias-Inmar, that use verified metrics to measure influencer campaign performance will become the best connection for Brands. Leah Logan, VP Media Product Strategy at Inmar, thinks that Instagram removing “Likes” would open up opportunities for agencies to add value and transparency in an industry where campaign results can be difficult to decipher. Tools to help with influencer selection (such as Inmar’s Influencer Discovery Platform) will become a reliance for brands, as these platforms have backend data and access to metrics that go beyond likes and number of followers.

Measurement is the key to success in determining ROI on influencer campaigns. Let’s chat about how we can provide you verified measurement capabilities to get ahead of platform changes. Contact us today to get started.