Like me, Like me not: What does removing Instagram likes mean for organizations?

Sarah Robinson • July 23, 2020

In April 2019, Instagram announced that it would be testing a new feature that would hide the likes under users’ posts. While many were skeptical about the idea, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said the new feature was an effort to “reduce anxiety and social comparison” on the platform.

The new feature was initially tested in Canada and then followed in six more countries to include Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. In November 2019, Instagram began testing the new feature in the United Stated for some users. While the new feature has not affected all US accounts just yet, it’s on its way to expand to more users as time goes on.

So, what does this mean for your organization?

Pros:
– Focus is on your content, not your “likes”
– More authentic content
– Post more freely without being stuck in certain time windows
– Reduce pressure to keep up with competition

Cons:
– Risk of users going to another platform
– Could make it more difficult for brands to find influencers to work with
– Emphasis on other metrics such as follower count
– May lead to lower engagement

This change will create more authenticity on the platform, meaning that your organization’s content matters more than ever before. Real engagement has to happen beyond the number of likes. Businesses on Instagram will need to get more creative in analyzing metrics and determine what content is actually working. Interacting with other accounts will be a necessity to stay relevant on the platform since the algorithm is no longer based on likes. Organizations will need a comprehensive social media strategy that evaluates more than just likes. Using and understanding analytics can help social media content creators adjust the strategic plan according to metrics like reach, impressions and saves to determine the impact of its influence.

From a marketing standpoint, the removal of likes might be scary, but it also presents a unique opportunity to develop a strategic plan and start posting authentic content to engage with your organization’s followers, rather than posting something because you know it will get likes.

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