What ‘hiding likes’ means for Singapore | Instagram hiding likes
Earlier this year, we heard the announcement by Instagram that they will be removing public likes. This means that users are no longer able to view the number of likes postings on Instagram receive. Although it is only at the trial stage, we would like to talk about the good, the bad of the ‘hidden likes’ on Instagram.
Whether you jumped for joy upon hearing this piece of news or were part of the opposing team, we cannot deny this move marks a big change for Instagram.
We have received a list of questions, some of them being:
How will the change in visible likes affect Singapore?
What are some of the repercussions?
What will happen to influencer marketing if likes cannot be seen?
We hope to address such questions in today’s article and provide possible scenarios that could occur.
Instagram has mentioned that this move could gradually be rolled out to countries should Australia’s ‘removing likes’ trial be successful,. As of late, it seems like some users in Singapore have been affected by the trial.
How would influencer marketing in Singapore look like on Instagram moving forward?
Firstly, the removal of superficial likes frees up creative space for influencers to focus on other aspects of the platform. Think of it this way. You no longer need to constantly post similar pictures to ensure your like numbers do not fluctuate. Instead, you can focus on posting new and creative content without worrying about the number of likes you get.
Instead of posting content just to get the most number of likes, influencers can now focus on creative and authentic content. Statistics show that these content are better received.
David Shadpour stated in a CNBC interview, “By reducing the focus on likes as an indicator of success, creators will have more creative control — focusing on content and transitioning their content towards video,”
To add on, the ban on visible likes might direct more attention towards other features on Instagram, such as Instagram story or the comment section.
This is another benefit from Instagram’s latest move to remove likes. This is because these other features can be great tools to measure a campaign’s success.
For example, we consider comments to be a more in depth analysis of user interest. This is because it allows for users to voice their opinions and react to particular postings. Therefore, we as marketers can get a good grasp of user’s reactions to the postings.
Instead of measuring interest via likes, comments might be a better indicator as it allows for a more nuanced understanding. I might like a post if I find it interesting. However, why it is interesting and how it captured my attention can only be conveyed via the comment section.
Similarly, the switch in attention towards Instagram story might be beneficial for influencer marketing. This is because the ‘in the moment’ content of Instagram story would largely appeal to social media users with decreasing attention span in the world of social media today.
Moving on, for marketers that are concerned about the lack of likes as a marker of interest, fret not. This is because since ‘likes’ are no longer under public scrutiny, the ‘likes’ of content readers are likely to be more genuine. Meaning users will no longer like a post due to social pressures (all your friends have liked it etc). Instead, they will choose to like a post only when they want to.
Based on the interest of the public, influencers can therefore produce quality content that works well. Instead of mainstream content that typically get many likes.
Some have said that the removal of visible likes is Instagram’s bid to shift advertising dollars towards paid content. While that remains a rumor, one has to keep in mind that negative sentiments associated with paid advertisements would still remain a creative challenge for advertisers to work on.
Therefore, we will say that Instagram hiding likes is unlikely to threaten the livelihood of influencers in Singapore.
In fact, Instagram hiding likes might result in increased interest in content creation on Instagram. Social media users no longer need to worry about the number of likes they are receiving. Therefore, there could possibly be an increase in the number of content creators / influencers in the industry.
Instagram hiding likes also opens up room for more authentic content (since likes are no longer a priority), that would benefit influencers in the long run. Hence, brands would more likely engage in collaborations with influencers.
Lastly, Instagram hiding likes would mean that the “bragging rights” of influencers are removed.
This is not the case when the number of likes influencers receive are made known to the public. While Instagram removing likes might take some time to get used to in the ‘like-centric’ Instagram, the long run benefits from the ‘no like’ system will likely outweigh the trouble to get used to it.
In conclusion, as social media has evolved, the emotions behind interaction and acknowledgement have become increasingly complex. It is beyond a double-tap. Therefore, you might not be able to get the full picture of things solely relying on likes.
That being said, likes can still be a useful indicator of whether users have interacted with or acknowledged the content. From what we understand — this metric is still made available to individual users. Therefore, it can still be used as a metric for measurement. This means that you will still be able to see how many likes your post receives. However, you will not be able to view the number of likes of other users posts.
We believe that Instagram’s move paves the way for a new era centred around authentic content. Therefore, we hope that marketers will keep an open mind and welcome this move of Instagram. It is time for us remove our focus from the likes on Instagram!
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