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Instagram is Hiding Likes: Use it to Your Advantage

by Justine Pantaleo
Read Time: 6 minutes
Instagram Strategy

I have been trying to wrap my head around this for a while now. I understand their reasoning but do they know it is going to change everything? Instagram hiding likes… It just… is… ah, I don’t know. I need to take this all in; I’ll be right back…

Okay, I think I’m good now! Instagram is crucial for many different aspects as a Marketer, Influencer, Users, etc. Lifewire says, “Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. When you post content, it will be displayed on your profile for followers to see.” To like the image, you can double-tap the image, and the ♡ will appear. A running total of people who have liked the post shows as well.  People compete, post, get in fights, feel less important without likes. Businesses post for likes, compete with competitors for likes, get new customers off of likes. 

Likes are important for so many people, but for Marketers, Instagram, and those likes, represent an excellent opportunity to market their products to a more targeted and interested audience.


So, why is Instagram hiding likes?

Ever since Instagram executives started to talk about hiding Instagram likes, everyone has been distraught. Users, especially influencers, have been trying to wrap their heads around why Instagram would want to hide likes.

Instagram’s reasoning for hiding likes is to help motivate the users and relieve the pressure of getting a large number of likes – stop the comparison and self-worth based on a number. They are trying to protect their users from vanity metrics. They intend to make the world a better place by trying to encourage users to focus less on likes and more on creating content which is meaningful to them. 

Instagram began its launch of no likes in 6 countries – New Zealand, Ireland, Brazil, Australia, Italy, and Japan. Their goal is to remove the pressure of likes and encourage their users to tell a story and be themselves. Instagram also wants to focus on mental health because it is associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying, and FOMO (fear of missing out).

Some are saying that Instagram is going to become irrelevant if they remove likes, but I predict it’s going to make Instagram better than ever (even if I was upset before). With people feeling comfortable about what they can post on Instagram, users will be more themselves instead of trying to show the "always perfect, traveling, smiling lifestyle" they have shown in the past. Users will be truthful and share their story without feeling like no one will like it. 

And as a small business Marketer, you won’t have the pressure of trying to earn likes to look reliable. You can use the removal of likes to focus more on providing engaging content and earning an audience organically. 


Hitting into the Influencer marketing

I’m sure we all know that Instagram is a massive market for Influencers and a way to make their “Mula.” It also allows businesses to use these Influencers for ads.

I already see it; the Influencer marketing industry is going to hit a downfall like crazy. Instagram is where they make their money. 

Influencer marketing relies heavily on Instagram, being able to post pics and get likes on it for an #ad. Currently, Instagram receives no cut from the influencer marketing industry – so this move makes financial sense given how it would entice brands to allocate budget to Instagram ads instead. Going the Instagram ad route instead of Influencer route will probably be saving companies financially as well. I know small businesses like us aren’t paying for Kendall Jenner to advertise us, but no matter who we use as influencers, there is a cost associated with that post.

With the power of businesses, Instagram’s perception can change. With your audience unable to see how many likes you received; they will have to rely on the engagement you receive. If this is implemented, it takes away the pressure of getting likes on posts, but about encouraging engagement and gaining followers. Start thinking about a new Instagram strategy now. Brainstorm a content strategy that will attract your audience to engage with you by commenting and sharing rather than focusing on liking a post. 


How will Instagram hiding likes affect my small business?

Instagram said the test and possibly permanent removal, would not affect measurement tools for businesses. Users can still see the list of people who liked their content by clicking into it. 

As a small business, the use of Instagram ads is useful because you can see your insights that your ad or post has created (if you did not already know that). If Influencer Marketing changes, it’s not the end of the world. Workaround it! Either post ads yourself or take pictures with an influencer, tag them and have them share the content on their page. It’s all about thinking outside the box and how is your business going to reach the audience and gain their trust with the visualization of how many likes it received.

I know as a business Instagram, personal Instagram, or dog Instagram, everyone likes to see how many likes you receive and be able to show that off to your followers. With times changing, I believe Instagram is doing what is best for mental health and their users. 


How can I use Instagram removal of likes to my advantage?

Likes may add value to your post; but did you know that pressing the save button on Instagram adds value as well. Shocking right? Not many people know this, so use this to your advantage. Instagram takes someone saving your image as it is important or provides significant value. So, encourage your audience to save your content!

Be ahead of the game and start acting as if likes don’t exist now. Show the real side of your business, the heart, and soul of the company, the people that work for it, and create ads on your own or through Instagram. My favorite accounts, whether it’s influencers, businesses, users, etc., are those who aren’t afraid what content they post or how many likes it gets. In the long run, it’s about the followers and being able to reach that crowd you didn’t think you could before. 

Also, get a partner! Businesses that work with other companies or influencers can reach a new audience, learn, and improve in ways they didn’t know they could. You are getting fresh minds into the mix, new audience, and new content ideas. The post pictured above is Smak Parlour collaborating with Dani Maiale. The business and influencer work together and create engagement through both channels. It isn’t just based on the likes, but the influencer is still promoting the brand. 


Start thinking a new way!

Start now! Pretend you can’t see your likes anymore. Businesses should worry about the engagement and leads they generate. What is your next move? How will you start sharing your story on Instagram? For DirectLync, our next step is sharing live content of our team. Use Instagram to your advantage today.

If you liked this blog, check out 12 Tips on How to Build a Brand on Instagram