The End of Influencer Marketing? Instagram is hiding likes to its users

Probably you have heard or are experiencing that Instagram is hiding likes on its platform. Do you know why Instagram is doing that to its 1 billion users? How does it change the social media ecosystem? What are the challenges to the businesses that rely on social media marketing? When the businesses are missing one of the most significant KPI, how can they identify and shortlist the right creators for their influencer marketing campaign?

Say Goodbye to Your Instagram Likes

It was all started at the WIRED25 summit in 2019. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram would begin hiding like counts on posts and the purpose is to depressurize environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves

Since then, Instagram likes first disappeared in North America in 2019, including Canada, the United States, and then expanded to Australia, Brazil, Japan, and New Zealand. After 2-years experiment, Instagram is likely to expand to Hong Kong and other APAC regions. 

How Does It Work?

To note, Like wouldn’t be disappeared completely. It would just be hidden to followers, users can still view how many likes they have on the post with a few more steps. Here is how it looks like from followers:

Instagram like
Source: Later.com

As you can see, followers are no longer able to see the like counts on a post. Instead, they can see who liked a photo or video. And you can add them all up yourself.

For the account user, you can still see how many likes you get on your post. But you will have to tap “others” under your post to go through to the total number of likes:

Instagram like
Source: Later.com

Less pressure, more posting

If people can’t see how many likes they get, they feel more comfortable expressing themselves.

It is an idea to depressurize the use of Instagram and encouraging users to less focus on the likes and post more. “It’s because 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 they care about,” Mosseri said at Facebook’s F8 conference.

Is it the end of Influencer Marketing?

To a certain extent, it does hurt the businesses which rely on influencer marketing and the influencer itself. In the past, when businesses want to check the influencer’s influence power, it can be easily determined by the no. of followers they have and the average likes per post. (Of course, to dig deeper, businesses should look at more metrics with the help of influencer marketing tools.) But now, it’s difficult for businesses to find Instagram influencers to work with. 

Does it mean it’s the end of influencer marketing? The answer is NO.

Here are some tips to help you go through the new Instagram environment:

1. The Ultimate Influencer Marketing KPI: Engagement

To determine the influence power of an influencer, marketers always look at the engagement. Engagement is the ultimate influencer marketing KPI. The amount of engagement your content receives is a definite measure of success.

Engagement = actual interaction your content gets

Although you cannot view the influencer’s likes on every post, you can still view the reactions on each post. The comments from his/her followers, the mentions on every post still count as the engagement rate of the influencer, which benchmarks the influencer’s influence power. However, for some metrics, for example, clicks, reach, hashtag, appeal, and like counts, businesses could only rely on the influencer marketing tools to crawl the data from the backend. 

2. Instagram Story

Source: easil.com

If businesses want to drive sales conversion from Instagram influencers, try Instagram story. According to Instagram, 50% of people have visited a website to buy a product/service as a result of seeing it in Stories.

Instagram Stories allows Instagram users to share photos and videos to their “Story” — which is visible to followers of the user’s Instagram account — and to specific users the Story’s sender follows. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.

With the features of the interactive stickers, Q&A function, Swipe Up capability, and more, Instagram stories are a prime channel for brands to drive awareness, traffic, sales, and engagement. 

3. Use Influencer Marketing Tool

There are thousands of influencers in the world, how can businesses pick the right ones to promote their products or services? What is better than viewing all metrics in one place? Therefore you need an influencer marketing tool.

With the tool, businesses can easily access the backend of Instagram and audit influencer profiles. Using customized filtering, keyword, and hashtag search, businesses can check the overall ranking, follower growth, avg. like, avg. comment, engagement, or even followers authenticity. It saves businesses time to identify, compare and engage authentic influencers. Through the analytic report, it also shows the influencer’s actual power to communicate with his/her followers, which significantly reflects the ability to send the business’s message to potential customers.

Thus, a complete influencer marketing tool is essential to every business. Cloudbreakr is a media analytics company based on big data and AI analysis, with business operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand. We provide the best solutions for brand marketers and agencies to optimize influencer marketing strategy.

Request a free trial to experience social influence power now!

Download this guide to help you go through the new Instagram environment.