Published on Aug 5, 2019
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Instagram has become a popular place to do business, with many retailers relying on the platform as their largest online customer engagement tool. This has also led to Influencers building followings which they then monetise through brand partnerships.
It is therefore still unsure how businesses will be affected by Instagram’s trial update in July, which hides how many likes a post has received.
While it may seem like a minor change, it has sparked a wide reaching discussion in digital marketing circles, as businesses and influencers’ brood over the likely effects.
What has prompted this change to Instagram?
Instagram says the change is to “remove pressure” and improve wellbeing, with Instagram previously ranking as the worst social media platform for users mental health.
Mia Garlick, director of policy for Facebook in Australia and New Zealand, says limiting likes so users can only see their own likes is to ensure Instagram is 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,” she says.
“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.”
Australia was among those countries chosen for the trial because it has a fast-growing, highly engaged community of millions of people on Instagram and a tech-savvy audience.
But according to online sources, many businesses believe the change is focused on garnering more advertising rather than concerns for people’s feelings.
The move hasn’t changed user analytics, so businesses and influencers can still see how their posts are performing, although nobody else can.