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Andrew Teoh

Instagram Changes The Way You See Likes On Your Post In Australia, Your Country Might Be Next

It’s no longer a popularity race, rather, it’s a competition to create contents that give value for the audience’s consumption.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

It started with Canada, now Instagram is doing a trial test for their new ‘hidden like’ posts display in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil.

So how does this work?

The new implementation is done to help users on Instagram to focus more on the quality of the content shared, and not affected by the like that a post has.

Instagram plans to hide the number of people that have liked your post, that’s how they’re going to do it.

This notice popped up on my Instagram feed when the trial started.
And this is how it looks like from my Instagram feed.

Now that you’ve understood how this works, let’s talk about WHY you need to look into this.

No more “more likes = great post” element.

I’m sure there are times when you are scrolling down your Instagram feed,  you’ll see a post that has hundreds, thousands of likes. You’ll pause longer to see what’s going on despite the post looked rather ‘nothing special whatsoever’. You might even tap on it to check out what’s going on or perhaps to look at the entire content deeper. Guess what, that happens to me all the time too.

We are all curious about things we don’t understand. That is why when there’s a post that has a lot of tractions, you will always get attracted to stop scrolling and have a good look at it just in case you missed out something worthy. And that is how influencers monetise their Instagram page. More likes = more traction = great portfolio.

However, with that Like removal from the main feed, the battleground is levelled. It’s now everyone’s game again. Your post isn’t justified by the number of likes anymore, but instead, the creativity and the ability to get the audience’s attention are the ones that are going to make a big difference.

This will lead to a more value-focused content direction.

The Like count might seem to be a small thing for many of us, regular users, out there. But it’s a different case for people who are leveraging it to earn or gain something.

In the first few days of scrolling without the Like count, I realised that my pattern of browsing my Instagram feed is slightly changed. Instead of looking at the visual then eye-balling on the Likes, I became more focused on the post itself.

And that resulted in a different way of me appreciating the content. It eventually changed the way I curate my content too. I tend to be more focused on what the visual was trying to tell and went on reading the post once I find it interesting. In comparison with my previous pattern, which is completely just stopping by to read only postings that have more than 10,000 likes.

I started to curate deeper into Instagram looking for a good post.

This time, influencers will find it hard to justify their value. Instagram has always been a great platform for influencers to monetise their content. The more likes they get, the more traction or awareness of the sponsored brand they’re going to acquire. Even with that, there’s still no good way to justify the ROI that an influencer brings to the table.

However, if Instagram plans to go ahead with this idea and implement it fully, it will be even HARDER for influencers to justify their ROI to the brands.

If you’re wondering whether you can still look at the numbers of likes you get, you still can do that by tapping on who liked your post section.

Once you’ve tapped on that, you can see how many people have liked your post. However, only you can see that.

A few metrics have been used to justify the effectiveness of influencer marketing, and it seems that taking advantage of the number of Likes is one of the very few significant ways for it.

Despite this new development, it doesn’t mean that influencers will lose its edge. Some influencers that I know create great engaging contents and this situation doesn’t hold them back in any way.

So, what will eventually happen? 

Of course, these are just speculations and it’s still too early to tell since Instagram is only conducting trials in only 6 countries worldwide at the moment.

Personally, I think this is a great move from Instagram actually. One of the main reasons is that the move will break the sick ‘numbering’ game that has been going on, on Instagram.

There are too many people and brands that are overly fixated on the number of Likes and some even went to a level where they are willing to purchase Likes backdoor from those ‘followers and likes farm’. Not many people know this but these sick organisations will eventually create bots to follow and like your profile and posts, to make the buyer ‘happy’.

These things will cause damage to the organic traffic and targeting of your profile on the platform.

This time, users and brands will have to think harder when creating quality content. It’s no longer a popularity race, rather, it’s a competition to create contents that give value for the audience’s consumption.

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Andrew Teoh
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Andrew is the Marketing In Asia's Editor for Australia. He is a copywriter and marketing strategist too. Andrew co-founded Simplemind Creative, an agency that specialises in creative content writing and copywriting. Follow him on YouTube and Facebook.

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