Last week, Instagram announced that they would start to hide likes across accounts in the United States. Instagram has already rolled out these changes in countries like Australia and Canada, but this is the first time the app announced that these changes were going to take place in the US.
The reactions from bloggers, celebrities, and people across the spectrum have been mixed. While some applaud Instagram’s changes to remove pressure around getting likes, others have expressed their dissatisfaction. Other content creators have said that because likes are going to be hidden, people are going to engage with the app less. Others also have said that Instagram continues to make changes to help them continue to increase their ad revenues.
As a blogger/content creator, I’m not afraid for Instagram likes to disappear. I’m not afraid if the app continues to make changes.
Here are the 4 reasons why I’m not afraid for Instagram likes to disappear in the United States and across the globe:
Reason #1: Likes are NOT the only metric brands look at when their selecting you for a potential campaign.
As a microinfluencer (an influencer with less than 100K followers), I know from experience that likes and followers are not the only metrics brands look at. I started landing campaigns at 2,000 followers. And I started getting paid for campaigns around 10,000 followers.
I was bewildered at first why brands would want to work with me. I don’t have a macro audience size (100K or more). While my engagement rate floats around 4%, I know there are still other influencers out there with higher engagement rates. I realized over the years that brands aren’t just looking at your likes and number of followers – or else they wouldn’t work at microinfluencers at all.
There are so many other factors brands might want work with you.
Brands might want to work with you because:
- You have an engaged audience – if you have an audience that cares about what you do and what you create, you have influence.
- You an audience they want access too – for example, a brand might be creating a regional campaign around the Seattle area. They may be looking for influencers specific to Seattle or the Northwest.
- They like the content you produce – With the rise of content creators, brands have the opportunity to showcase their product and services in other perspectives and places.
- Your likeness – some brands may want to be associated with you because of your expertise or likeness in a field.
If you’re a microinfluencer, you don’t have to be afraid for Instagram like to disappear. You also have the opportunity to present your audience, your voice, and content to brands.
Reason #2: Likes are NOT the only metric of success.
I’ve learned over the past few years that different brands look at different metrics. Because different brands weigh metrics differently, that also means they weigh the success of their campaigns differently.
Here are a few other metrics that brands may still use for campaigns:
- Reach: the number of people who saw this post
- Impressions: the number of times this post was seen
- The number of Saves
- The number of Swipe Ups
- The number of clicks from a link shared in your bio
If you’re afraid for Instagram likes to disappear because you’ve previously thought that was the main metric of success, please ask your brand partners what metrics they look at. Some may say the number of likes but others may bring up these other metrics they measure.
Reason #3: Removing likes will hopefully remove some pressure on the app.
I also hope that content creators refocus on creating content with value and their audiences in mind.
“Doing it for the gram” is a real thing. I’m personally guilty of climbing a giant pair of cowboy boots for a photo. While I love creating content, I also have felt the social pressure to create content that garners likes. I’ve recognized that this is unhealthy for me. I’ve had to remind myself over and over again that I write, take photos, and connect with others because I love it – not because of the likes.
I’ve seen other blogger friends go through the same thing, Friends who feel discouraged from creating content because it isn’t being “liked” when in reality they aren’t doing anything wrong. The truth is there are over 800 million monthly Instagram users sharing photos and videos on this app. There’s more content being produced on the app which means your content is just going to be seen less.
I truly hope that both content creators and everyday users of Instagram remember that we are worth more than the likes.
Reason #4: I’ve diversified by brand across other platforms
Every year, I’m asked by others whether or not blogging is even worth anymore. I usually get the question “Who even reads blogs these days?” But my blog traffic has continuously grown every year. I’ve never given up on my blog because I love to write and it’s a positive outlet in my life.
And now with all these changes happening to Instagram, I’m so glad I didn’t give up on my blog. I’m also so glad I took the time to build my Pinterest, post on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and even create a TikTok account. While half my total audience size lives on Instagram, my blog doesn’t rely on Instagram. My blog would and will continue even if these social media channels went extinct.
If you’re worried about all the changes Instagram is making, I recommend you start to diversify your brand across other platforms. I also recommend you create a channel like a blog or podcast that you OWN.
Reason #5: I’m not mad at Instagram
I’ve seen on Twitter and Instagram people complaining that Instagram is making these changes to supposedly encourage brands and content creators to “pay to play” (spend more money on Instagram ads).
This is probably true and I’m not mad at that. I’m not mad because I understand Instagram/Facebook is a fortune 500 company who reports to Wall Street every quarter. Facebook/Instagram have an obligation to bring a return to their shareholders. They have to continue to innovate their products and keep their users on their platform so they continue to generate ad revenue.
Facebook/Instagram are NOT the only companies making changes to help their bottom line. Every publicly traded company, like Amazon, Netflix, UPS, and more must continue to innovate, deliver value to their customers, and give back to their shareholders. So yes, this is a business decision.
There you have it friends.
The five reasons why I’m not afraid for Instagram likes to disappear on the plaftorm.
What do you think of likes coming off Instagram?
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Holly Phan