19 Jul THE FUTURE OF INSTAGRAM AFTER REMOVING THE ‘LIKES’ COUNTER
Yesterday, Instagram shocked millions, and terrified countless influencers with their new platform update. The removal of the ‘likes’ feature. If you’ve opened the app in the last 24 hours you might have been surprised to notice that users are no longer able to see how many likes a post receives.
So why hide likes? Read on to uncover what motivated Instagram to make such a bold move, and how this will influence the social media game.
What you need to know
The removal of the ‘likes’ counter means that followers will no longer be able to see the total number of instagram ‘likes’ a post receives. However, you can still see everyone that liked your photos and videos. This trial update has been rolled out in a select number of countries. Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil have followed Canada’s lead, who experienced this new feature in May.
This update is being trialled to combat the harmful affect of social media popularity on the mental health of teens. Furthermore, Instagram is hoping to remove the competitive and toxic nature surrounding internet culture.
The individuals most likely to feel the biggest backlash from this decision is no doubt the influencer community. The update will change the way brand partnerships are forged, with a greater emphasis now being placed on the authenticity of the content produced.
Instagram hopes that the change will refocus the public’s attention on the images being shared, not the popularity they receive. While its impact will be felt gradually over the coming months, it’s reasonable to assume that the number of posts will decrease as the need to keep engagement rates high will instead be replaced by the desire to create meaningful content that facilitates serious discussions and active participation.
All these changes will mean that though pages may find their communities becoming smaller, they will be more segmented to target individuals that hold a genuine interest in their profiles. (Provided the content curated is of a high quality!)
The future of posting
The inability to measure content via the number of likes it receives will see a shift towards new metrics holding greater weight. For starters, there will be an increased importance placed on comments, click through rates and authentic story telling. Individuals and brands will no longer be interested in inflating Instagram likes for popularity. Rather, real brand communities with strong and loyal followers will take centre stage.
Now more than ever, the quality of content will matter. This means brands with informative, genuine and specialised posts will be rewarded for their contributions. With that in mind, it has never been more important to have a greater understanding of your community and digital marketing strategy.
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