Do You LIKE Instagram’s Latest Update?

Did you wake up this morning, excited to see how many LIKES that post from your flashy event last night received? Uh oh… you may be too late.

News

Over the past few months, Instagram has been hiding likes from users in Canada, and today they flicked the switch Downunder.

First things first, officially, this update is still being spruiked as a ‘pilot’ for a selected group of users, so it’s possible it won’t be sticking around (remember Instagram’s ‘Horizontal-Scrolling’ back track after strong community backlash?).

So, what does this mean for brands? Well, before you start cancelling your Instagram campaigns and influencer gifting – hang tight. Below is some information to consider about this major change to the platform, how it works, and the impact it could have on influencers and businesses.

WHAT’S CHANGED:

Instagram will no longer display the tally of LIKES under posts. Instead, only handles of engaged users will appear.

Australia is the second market to participate in this test which removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in newsfeed, but also permalink pages, and profiles, in an effort to make Instagram not “feel like a competition”.

The Facebook Australia and New Zealand Director of Policy, Mia Garlick, said “Instagram should be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves, rather than judged. We are now rolling the test out to Australia so we can learn more about how this can benefit people’s experiences on Instagram, and whether this change can help people focus less on LIKES and more on telling their story.”

It sounds like a big update when in reality, it’s quite a subtle change to the user interface. It is however, a rather large change to businesses that monitor LIKES as a measurement of success for their social and influencer marketing activity.

Whilst users (and businesses) will still be able to see how many LIKES their own posts receive by tapping on the ‘liker list’, others will not be able to see that number.

For businesses and influencers, Instagram has said that the test will not impact measurement tools like Insights and Ads Manager, however it will mean brands’ and influencers’ followers won’t be able to see how many likes their posts are getting.

Phew, this doesn’t sound like it will impact your paid campaign measurement, right? But, what does this mean for the future of businesses measuring non-paid Influencer collaborations?

Well, it’s simple. Relationships remain key. Now there’s even more emphasis placed on agencies to develop strong and authentic relationships, so they can exchange campaign insights and content performance metrics with Influencers. Not only will the value of a LIKE change to influencers, how businesses approach non-paid collaborations and their evaluation will also need to be reframed.

Would you LIKE to discuss how The Mint Partners can help deliver successful Instagram campaigns? Contact me for a chat today.

Cameron Thorburn
Head of Digital and Content
cameron@themintpartners.com.au

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