The world of social media is in for a major shakeup as Instagram has started testing out a new feature for a few users globally by hiding the ‘likes’ their posts get. If Instagram permanently removes public likes, it will significantly impact the influencer marketing industry by forcing influencers to embrace more sophisticated marketing metrics, as will be discussed in detail in this post.
Vice President of Instagram, Vishal Shah, said: “While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community.”
In order to gain deeper insights, businesses will now have to better understand the way micro-influencers function or conduct their business/work. Marketers are looking to evaluate influencers based on clicks, view-through rates and swipe-up engagements of stories (influencers have a personal connection with their audience and many loyal followers, unlike celebrities who just get lots of likes but have no personal connection with the audience).
Here’s how influencer marketing will change without public likes:
Many people simply like the content on Instagram without any motive of buying anything. Marketers are now signing influencers based on their conversion rates or video completion rates and not on likes.
Comments also play a significant role in understanding how the brand is perceived amongst the influencer’s audience. Comments are now valued more than likes as they help the marketer analyze the sentiments of the audience through positive or negative reactions to a campaign.
Unification of influencer agency
With the increasing adoption of different performance metrics, influencer agencies without access to Instagram’s API will have to apply for it. Those who have the API can pull in technical data from Instagram. Those who do not have the infrastructure to conduct this activity rely on influencers to share self-reports on their accounts.
Emergence of micro-influencers and more diversified content
With the shift in focus on granular metrics, marketers will want to work with influencers who connect with their audiences and obtain results, rather than those who just get a lot of likes on their posts. Without the burden for likes, influencers will feel freer to post content they enjoy, rather than curating content to get the most engagement.
While most influencers are happy to have more creative freedom, those concerned about the removal of likes could try out other platforms like TikTok where they can garner more visibility. Let’s wait for the verdict on the test to roll out soon.
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