The world of social media is on the verge of a major upheaval as Instagram has started testing a new feature for some users around the world by hiding the “likes” their posts receive. If Instagram permanently removes public likes, it will have a significant impact on the influencer marketing industry by forcing influencers to adopt more sophisticated marketing metrics, as discussed in detail in this post.
Instagram Vice President Vishal Shah said, “While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change for Instagram. So we’re continuing our test to find out more about our global community. “
In order to gain deeper insights, companies now need to better understand how micro-influencers work or conduct their business / work. Marketers want to rate influencers based on clicks, view-through rates, and swipe-up engagements of stories (influencers have a personal connection with their audience and have a lot of loyal followers, unlike celebrities who only get a lot of likes but no personal connection to the audience).
Here’s how influencer marketing will change without public likes:
Lots of people just like the content on Instagram with no motivation to buy. Marketers now sign influencers based on their conversion rates or video completion rates rather than likes.
Comments also play an important role in understanding how the brand is perceived by the influencer’s audience. Comments are valued more than likes today as they help the marketer analyze the mood of the audience through positive or negative reactions to a campaign.
Unification of the influencer agency
With the increasing acceptance of various performance metrics, influencer agencies have to apply without access to Instagram’s API. Anyone who has the API can call up technical data from Instagram. Those who don’t have the infrastructure to conduct this activity rely on influencers to share self-reports through their accounts.
Emergence of micro-influencers and more diversified content
With the focus on granular metrics, marketers will want to partner with influencers who connect with their audiences and get results, rather than those who just get lots of likes on their posts. Without the burden of likes, influencers will feel freer to post content they like rather than curating content to get the most engagement.
While most influencers will enjoy more creative freedom, those concerned about removing likes could try other platforms like TikTok where they can get more visibility. Let’s wait for the verdict on the test to be published soon.
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