Performance Marketing

Instagram Killing Influencer Marketing by Getting Rid of Likes

Instagram is making a radical change to its platform in an effort to force advertisers to buy advertising and stop using influencers instead. Kylie Jenner for example reportedly makes $1 million per Instagram post, and 0% of that goes back to the platform. Meanwhile, Instagram’s own ads don’t receive nearly the engagement that you’ll see on posts by influential users.

The social photo-sharing app announced on Thursday it would no longer display likes on posts in Australia and several other countries. This test, Instagram noted, is to offset the social pressure people now feel about gaining “likes” online.

“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves. We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy Mia Garlick said in a statement. “We are now rolling the test out to Australia so we can learn more about how this can benefit people’s experiences on Instagram, and whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.”

The test first took place in Canada, however, likes reappeared on Canadian accounts two days ago, Business Insider reported.

Though the likes will not be visible to others, they will still be visible to the user who posted the image. So, you can see your likes, but nobody else can.

Instagram is also testing this no-likes approach in Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, and Italy. Users in those countries will see the following message when they log on:

“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test only you will be able to see the total number of likes on your posts.”

In 2017, the Royal Society for Public Health released a study showing “social media may be fueling a mental health crisis,” especially with young people. For the study, researchers polled nearly 1,500 young people about their thoughts on social media. It found that of all the social media outlets Instagram scored the lowest for health and wellbeing.

In a video posted to her Instagram account, Australian Instagram model Mikaela Testahad a tearful “meltdown” about the response she received for criticizing the change on Facebook. The post, which has since been removed, claimed that Instagram was doing “real damage” with this change.

Some Instagram users on Twitter were saying they would like it if the likes were gone from the app, and that it could result in better or more genuine posts overall. They also thought it would be an opportunity to take some of the pressure off of posting and lessen the anxiety around the app. Other people said it would probably impact the self-esteem of those who use their Instagram likes as a booster for their confidence. Most of the people tweeting about the changed seemed to think it was a positive one but people were noting that it would make things more difficult for businesses and influencers on the app.

Removing likes is an easy way to kill two birds with one stone. Not only does it look like the platform is making a change that would be better for its users’ mental health, they’re also leveling the playing field with Influencers and encouraging brands to work through Instagram if they want to advertise their goods on the platform.

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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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2 Comments

    1. Alot of influencers will still make their money they can always screenshot their stats and send it to people buying influencer marketing…. All this does is slowing down process for everyone and makes it harder to see who is frauding and what is actually popular on someone profile which is terrible for marketing and for social media in general…

      What if the influencer only last 3 post blew up are they really going to send a screenshot of there whole page so I can find out there average likes?

      I could now buy 300k followers and turn off comments…. People could believe that I’m getting thousands and thousands likes a photo now. No one would ever know how many likes I actually get but to there first guess is im getting alot with 300k.

      Also I believe this will lead to less likes on the platform overall and less engagement people like seeing the like number go up its just sastifying. I feel like people would like photos less because who cares at this point.

      There is so many plot holes this update can lead to lol

      This is participation trophy energy to me if you are that much of a scared weak human and think that likes should be removed maybe you should leave SOCIAL MEDIA.

      Also instagram stories watch how many people everyday will screenshot how many likes they got and say ” thanks for the support”.

      I truly don’t care as long as my youtube movie music views are up and my bank account numbers are up but this is a STUPID update.

      Instagram is one of the most non sufficient useless updated apps I have ever seen. Fire there
      whole team

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