Instagram hiding ‘likes’ is a positive move: Influencer marketing platforms

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on November 30, 2019 Published on November 30, 2019

Social media platform Instagram has started hiding like counts globally, including for users in India. Since likes have been an important metric for influencers' businesses, especially in India, marketers say influencers are likely to make a shift to other platforms like TikTok that is picking up interest here. However, there are some views that go against the grain.

Ashutosh Harbola, CEO and Co-Founder, Buzzoka, an influencer marketing platform, says the removal of Instagram likes is a positive move and is optimistic about the after effects.

"Brands in the current schema of the marketing mix are more focussed on likes and followers and content somehow takes a back seat. With the removal of likes, content will get the maximum boost," he points out.

Noting that social media prevails and survives on good content, he adds the company has seen "a pattern of performance basis these likes. Agreed, likes were a metric to measure the virality of content, but it also brought in a lot of fake practices like increasing likes by bots. The step will at least stop all unethical practices and a creator will be more focussed on creating good content."

Some celebrities have argued the move may reduce engagement and make it harder to attract brands, while others maintain it is an ideal opportunity to move away from such vanity metrics, particularly as audience measurement becomes more sophisticated.

Depressurise Instagram

The first social platform to remove the like' feature, Instagram users will be able to see their own likes, but the same will not be visible to their followers and others on the platform.

It is the latest step in Instagram's quest to become the safest place on the internet. As Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri pointed out, "The idea is to try to depressurise Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and things that inspire them."

Harbola agrees. On the consumer side, he says the effect is even more crucial with today's youth judging itself on the basis of the likes. "Social media is a space that allows users to take out time from their busy schedule and be connected to the world, but somehow it was turning out to be a jumbo war of likes. We have seen so many cases of depression that have been reported. Now, at least the network will not be judging them," he says.

The move is also expected to force influencers to embrace more sophisticated marketing metrics, while marketers will need to push harder to evaluate influencers based on clicks, view-through rates and swipe-up engagements related to content.

Published on November 30, 2019
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