In the year 2019, Instagram has been voted as the top essential tool for influencers and currently, it has almost 1billion monthly active users globally. It is flooded with tons of users from Gen Z, Gen X, and Millennial.
At the beginning of November, The Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri mentioned on his own Twitter account where Instagram is removing the like counts in the US. On 14th November 2019, Instagram officially announced the test has been expanded globally as they received a huge amount of positive feedback from the previous experiments but they need to continue the experiment to learn more from the global community as it is one of the biggest changes to the app. Only a small percentage of selected users from different countries will be experiencing this and the change may not be permanent for the users. Even some users in Malaysia are part of the trial. Nonetheless, the like count will not disappear completely as users are still able to view their own like counts, but it will be hidden for the followers to view. This is how it will look like if your Instagram removed the number of likes.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on creativity and sharing the things you love,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement.
Adam Mosseri also added, “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 the people that they care about.” Aside from that, Adam believes that this action could stop people from online bullying and improve users’ mental health, especially among the young generations.
There are some influencers and celebrities are disappointed with the change as it has weakened their engagement with the followers and the ability to grow on Instagram. They also realized their posts gained lesser likes than before and it is pressing their posts farther down in Instagram’s algorithmic feed. Elizabeth Sobinoff, well known in the American reality television series – Married At First Sight (MAFS) had experienced almost a total loss of 1,000 followers on Instagram since the day Instagram applies the changes. Cyrell Paule, another star of MAFS also experiencing the same issue where she had lost a total of 1,241 numbers of followers. Due to the change, some influencers may be leaving Instagram and move to other platforms like TikTok.
Generally, like counts help marketers to identify the right influencers to work with and also avoid fake followers. For the reason that Instagram is removing the like counts, it will be harder for marketers or brands to measure the KPI given to the influencers. From then on, marketers and brands will be interested in influencers who are able to engage well with the audiences and also able to deliver good content and results on the platform. Some marketers and brands might be hacking in Google spreadsheets or depending on influencers’ self-record to identify the right influencers to work with but the result will not be accurate. Aside from that, if they do not have a tool or platform to access Instagram’s API, they will encounter some difficulties compared to companies that have the right technology.
The removal of the number of likes had created chaos in the internet world since the day Instagram announce it. Some users agree on it, but some users are frustrated with the change. Let us know what you think about it?