As was widely reported a short time ago with much fanfare, Instagram has started hiding likes as a test to see if doing so will make the app more enjoyable for users.
The test started in Canada but has now been rolled out to six additional countries - Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.
We Bet It’s Here To Stay
Our bet is that this change isn’t temporary. There has been so much written about the negative toll that a focus on likes is having on people’s mental health, that we believe that Instagram has pretty much already made up their mind about this move.
The fact that they rolled it out in seven major markets makes us confident in saying so as well.
And we think this is a good thing for everyone, including your business.
Here’s Why Hiding Likes Is Good For Your Business
Here are three reasons why we think Instagram hiding like counts is good for your business:
1. You’ll start tracking metrics that matter
Likes are a false currency. You can’t take them to the bank, and you can’t pay your bills with them. So there is no great reason to make them the focus of your Instagram strategy.
But that’s exactly what’s happened.
It’s time to start tracking the metrics that actually matter, like reach, engagement, saves,
2. You’ll start sharing content that’s more authentic
Admit it, at one point or another, you’ve held back on something you wanted to post because you didn’t think the Instagram community would like it enough.
Everyone that markets on Instagram have done that! But at what cost?
The cost is that Instagram has largely become a popularity contest, and that has driven people and companies to post images that fall within certain ‘rules’ that give them a better chance of success...which means authenticity has gone out the window.
Now that likes are hidden, our bet is that everyone will feel more comfortable posting content that’s authentic.
The foundation of a good business brand is an authentic connection with its audience, so we think this is nothing but good for business!
3. You’ll create content that gets real results
Now that you’ll be tracking the right metrics for your content, your Social Media Marketing Manager will now be held accountable to results beyond just likes and follower growth.
That means your content strategy will shift to maximize those metrics and actually drive real business results.
How many visitors are making it to your website? Opting in to email lists? Buying products?
Our best is that real business results like these will become the expectation of businesses using Instagram, and the real value of the platform as a marketing tool will become abundantly clear.
Like It Or Not...
Change is coming to Instagram, and we think it’s a good thing! Expect that likes will be hidden in your market within the next six months, and start preparing your strategy now.