Earlier this year, the world’s most popular photo and video sharing platform Instagram started the initial tests with regard to hiding the like counts on the public posts. It was first tested in Canada in April followed by Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia in July.
According to Instagram officials, hiding the likes will allow the users to decide (for themselves) if the post is worth liking or not. This will eventually make things easier for the users as they are likely to feel more comfortable in sharing the content publicly. Furthermore, it will also improve the quality of the feeds as people will now focus on the content they genuinely like.
The plan is still in the testing stages with the application developers selecting only a couple of user groups across the globe for the like-hiding trials. However, if Instagram hides the like count on a permanent basis, it is likely to affect the influencer marketing domain.
According to the best influencer marketing agencies in India, this feature may impact the industry greatly as it will leverage the influencers to adopt more sophisticated marketing matrices. Here are some ways in which influencer marketing is likely to be affected:
1. More performance metrics will come into action
Traditionally, the number of likes on a post was one of the paramount metrics that encouraged the influencer outreach agencies to connect with an influencer. However, though likes may signify engagement, it can also mislead people when it comes to the actual performance mapping. The top influencer marketing agencies in India believe that people on social media like posts under the influence of friends and other users without any purchase intent. Thus, if Instagram hides the number of likes on a permanent basis, new performance metrics will be used to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI). For instance, brands may solely rely on conversion rates or aggregate video completion rates. (Who Knows?)
2. Influencer agencies will get consolidated
With influencer marketing agencies likely to adopt new performance metrics, technology integration and access to Instagram’s API will become essential. This may initiate consolidation of agencies as finding the right influencer (by pulling in granular data) and checking their legitimacy will become a tedious task.
3. Micro-influencers will gain popularity
As influencer marketing agencies will be leveraged to use granular metrics, they may shift their focus on working with influencers who connect with their audiences substantially and drive results rather with those who get a large number of likes. This will potentially add to the popularity of micro-influencers as they are known to better connect with their audience. Furthermore, connecting with micro-influencers will also allow brands to reach a diverse audience base.
Though various claims have been made that hiding the likes will provide more creative freedom to the influencers, legit impacts will only be seen in the near future.