Instagram is officially testing hidden likes with a percentage of Instagram users in Canada. The platform will test hiding the number of likes and views that photos will have, which is an important part of the platform but focusing on reducing the pressure it causes.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram said the change is designed to minimize the stress of posting online, where users can fixate on how many likes their post gets. “We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with people that they care about”
For now, only selected users in Canada are able to have access to the hidden likes on Instagram. If you have been selected you will see a banner at the top of your home feed letting you know why you don’t see likes on another user’s posts anymore.
So, the big question on everyone’s mind is how will this new change affect Instagram influencers and businesses.
Now for influencers, their main focus now would be on content instead of a number and can allow you to post more without thinking of the best time to post.
One of the major implications for influencers though is that it would make it difficult for brands to find the right influencers to work with. In 2019 , brands care more about your reach and engagement rate rather than just followers
This hidden likes could result in a spending shift away from influencer marketing and towards paid advertising on Instagram. “This will likely increase the amount of ads as brands look for more exposure and make it difficult for anyone but established influencers to get a foot hold”
But on a survey with other Influencers they are excited about the change, saying that it will be a step in a more authentic direction, where brands will focus more on likes reach, impression or saves. Influencers will need to post more artsy and cool contents if likes are hidden
As for businesses on Instagram; they will have to be more creative in analyzing data and get specific about what content is actually driving the business, and supporting your business goals.
According to Alexis Davis, Founder of the social agency “The Content Plug” predicts that brands will have to convince stakeholders that organic Instagram still has a place in marketing plans based on the hidden analytics.
But you all shouldn’t worry about it yet, the test doesn’t mean the likes would go away for everybody, and it will likely be months before we hear anything more about it.