How will removing likes on Instagram impact your business profile?
A few weeks ago, Instagram took everyone by surprise by announcing the decision to trial removing the number of likes on users’ posts. This latest test means that your followers will no longer be able to see how many likes your posts have; the likes will now only be visible to the user. This move has currently gone ahead for testing in countries including Australia, Ireland, Japan and Brazil this month, in which this decision has received both praise and backlash from the public.
For many, the removal of likes on Instagram is a positive thing, for reasons including the support of mental health problems, after recent statistics revealed the negative effects social media can have to your emotional wellbeing, especially towards the teenage generation.
However, influencers and digital businesses that rely heavily on the social media platform have criticised the decision. Instagram has transformed from a photo-sharing platform, to become one of the most powerful e-commerce apps, with the highest influencer marketing industry. The removal of likes is considered to jeopardise this, as posts for marketing purposes are monetised through likes and engagement, which will now be hidden from the public eye.
Instagram have defended their controversial trial by stating that the overall aim is to take away the pressure created by social media but to instead focus on sharing photos we love, without the pressure to achieve a set number of likes.
In the digital age, we’re able to consider just how much this will impact businesses on social media, for better or for worse. By taking away the big number centred around the post, this may leave the public questioning how popular a brand is; but is the number of likes more important for a business’ reputation, or does this instead drive companies to create better content?
We know first-hand the value of knowing and understanding your target audience; the road to success comes through the content that is distributed to an interested audience. Behind the numerical figure tagged to your picture or video is the message you want to resonate to your audience, which should be the principal focus of your campaign. With over 55 million photos and videos posted every day, re-directing your attention into creating content your followers will remember is more time-efficient than having the most likes. When looking at the bigger picture, reaching twenty people who care and interact with your business is much more beneficial than gaining 100 likes from those not in your target audience, who will continue to scroll past.
Why not consider Instagram’s latest trial a wakeup call? The platform can still be utilised as a successful PR tool by conveying company culture and values, interacting with your audience and creating consistent and high-quality content.