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The Great Instagram Experiment with Hiding “Likes” Expands to the U.S.


Removing Instagram Likes to Reduce the Social Competition


Instagram is currently testing the removal of users ability to see who has liked other users' post on the social sharing platform. And the test has decided to move to the United States.


(Insert dramatic music...dun dun dunnnnnnnn!!!)


Boy, let me tell you that people are up in arms over this.


Tweets on this topic looked something like this after the announcement:

-"One. The point of advertising is to get people to do something. Just liking a picture or ad doesn’t do enough for your business. Unless you get paid by the number of “likes” you get, or that people that follow you on Twitter see that you liked it, generating more reach."


-"I think it depends on the goal and who is marketing your ad because if I pay money to a person who’s aesthetic is similar to mines, the first option is likely to happen. Also it’s depends on the ad itself, wether the person is promoting the whole page or just a post"


-"I’m a regular poster, will make no difference to me"


-"I don’t think Instagram understands. There app is only know for pictures and likes. And for them to take out one of them is a downfall. I don’t know why they listening to Kanye anyway."


Comments on Instagram on the topic

-"Good idea for me 😂😂😂"

-"Zero impact on my businesses"

-"Likes are similar to amazon reviews the more there is the more credibility and value perceived. Most people are followers so if that’s holds true, it does effect perception to create a call to action!"


What is Instagram?

Currently, Instagram is a social sharing site for pictures and videos.


Pictures and videos uploaded to the app can receive “Likes” and comments from others as a way to interact with the original poster.


You can find pictures and videos of a wide variety of things including food/recipes, cat videos, funny little kids, how to build a better business, motivation, religious, and the list goes on.


Let's be real, if you are reading this article you KNOW what Instagram is.


It has sucked you in when you were supposed to be cleaning, cooking dinner, working, studying, or sleeping!


You're an expert at that Insta Scroll! Ehhh, ehhh!


So let's dig in.

According to Sprout Social, there are over 500 million people that access Instagram daily. See article here: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-stats/ .


In the article, 17 Instagram Statistics that Marketers Need to Know in 2019, Sprout Social, says that 64% of 18-29 year olds and 40% of 30 to 40 year olds use Instagram.



Age + Gender of Instagram users per Sprout Social, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-stats/


Yurrrpp...that's about right.


I know because I counted them. Just kidding. :)


In recent years Social Media has received a bad reputation because people are more concerned with receiving likes on their pictures than they are with promoting content that is showing who they really are.


People have been known to photoshop pictures and purchase outfits and objects just to pretend the items belong to them on the Gram.


Followers end up feeling tricked or dupped into supporting, purchasing from, and mostly viewing countless hours of the liars content only to realize their course was not amazing like they said, they didn't have the new Lamborghini, and they have never been to France.


Social Media users in general have also been known to bully and harass.


Bully is not extended to people under the age of 18 either.


School fight videos have been made viral on Social Media platforms.


People have bullied from Direct Messages (DMs) as well as from the main feed.


Google Search results for the words: social + media + bullying


I think we all can agree...there is a good and bad side to Social Media.


What is a Like-when someone presses the ❤️next to your image/video on Instagram.


This is supposed to mean exactly what it says...the person that taps the heart "likes" whatever it is that you have shared.


However this isn't always the case. People have been buying "likes" from computer apps/bots/programs.


Yeah..I know. It's interesting.


The purpose of that is to show to the rest of the world that people "like" your content because you have tons of "likes" on your images/videos.


It has even been said that when you receive a "like" your body releases certain happy inducing hormones.


And people have been known to cutup when they do not receive the "likes" that they feel they are due.


Did you see this earlier this year?


Just google, "influencer cries over deleted instagram account" and you will see all of the articles and videos about her.


Google Search results for the words: influencer + cries + over + deleted + Instagram + account

I didn't post the link because I didn't want to give her more attention.


So here is the deal

THE PROBLEM: Instagram is testing removing users' ability to see how many likes others are receiving on their Instagram posts.


Tech Crunch stated, “Instagram began testing this (hiding likes) in April in Canada and expanded it to Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand in July. Facebook started a similar experiment in Australia in September.” See full article here: https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/08/instagram-hide-likes-us/


Why: Instagram wants to take away the competition of Instagram for younger users. Adam Musserui, the head of Instagram, announced on November 8, 2019 that Instagram will begin testing removing users’ ability to see who and how many people have liked other users post on the platform beginning the week of November 10, 2019.


Facts

1. This is already being tested in other countries and has been for months. They are not dying.


2. This will not be rolled out to all accounts.


3. This is not a permanent move for everyone on the platform right now.


4. You can still see YOUR likes on EVERY post that you put up.


5. You still need to put more effort into creating valuable content.


What Influencers are Saying

According to NPR at Wired 25 Mosseri said, "It's about young people. "The idea is to try to 'depressurize' Instagram, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them." See here: https://www.npr.org/2019/11/09/777906177/instagram-will-test-hiding-likes-on-some-u-s-accounts-starting-next-week

Karen Civil, digital marketing entrepreneur, feels like this will definitely help brands stand out more by being recognized for their engagement and Return On Investment that influencers bring to the paying brand.


Check out one of her most recent tweets:

Screenshot from Karen Civil's Twitter account, @karencivil

Brittany, @missbebright on Twitter, hires influencers for brand campaigns. She believes that the move by Instagram to remove the ability to see others likes on the platform will be really helpful to the micro influencer.


Screenshot from Brittany's Twitter account, @missbeebright

Brittany takes it a step further on her Twitter Feed and actually gives you a plan to survive this massive bomb of damnation we are all expecting to hit soon from Instagram.


Her plan tells you how to create amazing content to help you stand out and gain more engagement!


What more could you ask for?


What Users are Saying

Many users feel as though this is a ploy by Instagram, that is owned by Facebook, to get more money brands by forcing to pay for ads.


The theory has also been thrown around that brands will no longer be able to use influencers.


Brittany even feels that this won’t be the case.


Screenshot from Brittany's Twitter account, @missbeebright

And I think it's safe to say the data supports her conclusion.

According to Big Commerce, using Influencers to market your brands has turned into a 5 to 10 million dollar industry. See https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/influencer-marketing-statistics/ .

Here are my takeaways:

1. This is only a test. I repeat this is only a test. We do not know if “Likes” will really disappear for everyone forever. And if it did so what? We will adjust and we will move on.


2. Create content that resonates, is relevant, and resourceful to your audience. You can hire a strategist or a coach to help you with this, but ultimately you need what comes as a result of having this kind of content. You need the engagement. The engagement with quality content encourages people to buy whatever you are selling.

Start by cleaning up your Instagram bio. Get help here: https://www.glyndadove.com/post/edit-your-instagram-bio

3. Influencer marketing is not going anywhere. If Instagram is no longer the place to be then you will find whatever the new hot app is and you will adapt to whatever their stipulations are.


4. Learn what your statistics mean beyond the likes. Mattie James and The Influencer League both offer detailed courses and tools that teach you how to understand your statistics and how to pitch brands.


Also the book, Influencer, by Brittany Hennessy gives tons of detail on the subject.


What this boils down to is, this is not the end of the world.


Please keep drinking your water, minding your business, showing up consistently with your amazing content, and engaging with others on whatever social media platforms you choose to be present on.


I think that it is also worth remembering Mosseri's statement, "We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform, how it affects how they use the platform, how it affects the creator ecosystem." See article: https://www.techradar.com/news/instagrams-experiment-with-hiding-like-counts-is-expanding-to-the-us .


After all the purpose of Social Media is to be social!


Need help with reaching customers on on the Internet? Schedule a call today, https://www.glyndadove.com/links


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