This was rumored to happen earlier this year, and it did; just not in the United States. Marketing Land released an article this week which pretty much announced it’s our time. Instagram will start hiding those lovely likes in America as early as this week.
As an agency, and more importantly, the social media specialist of the office, I have a few different thoughts about this.
- This is not good. Impressions and engagements (likes, comments, etc.) are a huge part of my monthly reporting to each and every social client. While the owner of the account will still be able to see the data, no one else can. Our reporting spreadsheet may look the same, but how will the numbers change? What effect will this have? How will I prove that I am performing to the same standards when no one, other than myself, can see that?
- Maybe this isn’t so bad. While engagement is key for reporting, what would happen if people didn’t just “like” a post because other people did? What if they paid more attention to what they were looking at and decided to engage because they wanted to, not because a million other people did? I know I scroll back up when I see a ton of hearts. Does everyone do this or am I just weird?
When this idea first came out months ago, I never for a second thought about my personal page – my mind went straight to my clients. While that’s probably a good thing in a professional sense, I wonder how many “normal” people really care? If Instagram isn’t your job – whether as a social media strategist or as an influencer – does this affect you at all?
There are many ways to look at all of this, but I just wonder – what is the right way? I guess only time will tell, so let’s wait and see what happens. We’ll see if they really turn likes off in America, or if it’s another suggested change that never happens. Whatever the actual result, I’m excited to see what comes of this – even if it’s just the conversations beforehand.