Instagram recently announced scrapping Likes from the platform, rolling out the feature in a number of markets. Indian experts dissect the impact of the move on Influencer Marketing as a medium.
How many times do you check your Instagram on a daily basis? Twice? More? According to a report, an average user spends between 24-32 minutes scrolling through other’s life on Instagram that includes both you and I, my friend.
From being a photo-sharing platform to being a part of every business model strategy, Instagram has come a long way but has also increased the craving for the virtual attention and Likes. Think about it, if you share a post on Instagram and get no likes, did you really post it?
But ever wondered what happens when the ‘Like’ game goes out of hand? Understanding the seriousness and urgency of the growing-issue, Instagram decided to take the matter in its own hands, and announced to take away the little red hearts to protect the mental health of its users.
Here’s how pictures on Instagram in India look like (Left) , for countries where the feature is being tested, take a look at the right picture!
This move ought to help take the competition on the platform a backseat, however, understanding its effect on Influencer marketing is of grave importance. With one less metric for engagement, it may be difficult for Influencers to be scouted. We reached out to some industry experts to share their thoughts around this move
Rikki Agarwal, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Blink Digital “By hiding users’ interaction with the content, the platform will then move into becoming a passive interaction platform much like TV. This will basically lead to brands creating ads rather than engaging content, in my opinion. Influencer marketing, though, will still exist since it is a media vehicle to reach out to people and influencers individually. Influencers can still report the engagement back to the brands”
Akshay Popawala, Co-founder & Director of Digital Communication/ Strategy, Togglehead feels that Instagram removing the vanity metric of likes is a progressive step towards allowing creative freedom on the social networking platform.
“While the content will still be rooted from mass appeal, the spotlight will then be on campaigns that drive actual results of awareness, sales or click-throughs. Should the test become permanent, the process of influencer marketing will become more transparent and informed.”
In an ideal world, brands should shift their focus from the lowest denominator of engagement (Likes) and base their selection entirely on quality of posts, their reach, and the demographics of the influencer’s community.
Likes, we need a break!
With this step, Instagram aims to bring less focus on likes as an indicator of success and will give content creators more control over showcasing their creativity without the constant thought of winning more hearts (Literally)
Although this seems abrupt and sudden, it might become one of the most profound changes the platform has made in years.
Rukmini Kadam, Trumatter, says, “Trust is the most significant metrics in any advertising media be it online or offline. And what you need to see is how far people are interacting with your content through comments – both good and bad and grievances – to see the real reach of you”
A recent example to look at the significance of Likes is the World Record Egg, would a post like this go viral or get as much attention as it did IF you couldn’t see the numbers?
Paras Tomar, Content Creator, shares his two cents around Instagram without Likes, “Influencers adapt. We adapt to new platforms. new content, new modes of shooting content. Years ago shooting content in portrait mode never made sense, but IGTV took YouTube head-on by introducing vertical content..and people adapted. This seems like it’s in a test phase at the moment, i think we’re still in the wait-and-watch part of this story”
While this been the talk of the social town for the past one week, skim through to see what Twitterati has to say
Some were glad
Some were not
While some got the most out of the situation!
Whether we ‘Like’ it or not, this move may roll out soon. While it is a great step towards protecting users and focusing more on quality content, what are your thoughts about this feature for the future of Influencer marketing? Let us know through the comments below!