The popularity of person, brand and influencers is judged by social media post which have maximum likes on their post. The upvote on Reddit, thumb’s up on Facebook, favorite on Twitter all these features indicates user interest and they also help content travel because usually you like what your friends like.
This system on Instagram, however could soon be turned down.
The social media platform began experimenting with hiding likes in Canada back in May and last week rolled out the test to Japan, Italy, Ireland, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia. In those countries, users are now no longer able to see the number of likes or video views on other person’s posts.
Instagram posits that this shift will minimize the social pressures that come with social media. “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”, Instagram wrote in a tweet last week.
But it’s already raising anxiety among influencers and the fashion brands that advertise though them. Experts believe the move could nudge brands to spend more on advertisement and less on posts that feature influencers.
“Getting rid of likes is big deal. There are pros and cons to the decision, but it has the potential to hurt the entire system”, said Alessandro Bogliari, Chief Executive of the Influencer Marketing Strategy.
Brands and marketing agencies that analyse influencers look at several metrics which includes likes, followers and comments to measure the popularity of an influencer and how their audience reach translate to sales. Bogliari said all data are important to consider because everyone’s audiences are different and some followers to prefer to like while others prefer to comment.
“With one less metric for engagement, I think it will be harder for influencers to be scouted, “ he said. Because likes have always been an integral part of social media presence. Criticism have already been started and people are saying that this is death for an interactive platform.
Joe Gagliese, the co-Founder of Influencer Marketing Agency Viral Nation, believes that move could also be hard on fashion brands that have looked to Instagram to grow their following. “Likes have typically been a bragging right for fashion brands on Instagram, because it’s become a symbol of success,” Gagliese said. “The psychology of this is that consumers like posts that other people like.”