Bye Bye likes – but what’s next?

The competition of who get’s most of the likes should end soon: Instagram plans to eliminate the publicly visible likes. This has already been tested in some countries. But what are the key figures used to measure success? What effects will the changeover have on influencers and marketing? What follows, is a brief look into the future and how you can prepare for the time without “like”.

Why do “likes” actually cause so much sensation?

For some people, clicking the little heart may just be a reaction to a photo. But on Instagram, likes have been one of the most important metrics so far. The number of likes tells us how popular a profile or a post is. So, the higher the number of likes, the higher the reach of the post. For Influencer, this is a decisive factor: “Up to now, they have mainly been measured by their reach. The number of meaningful clicks was often a selection criterion for companies when looking for an Influencer to corporate with on their marketing campaigns.
For these reasons, the abolition of the likes seems unthinkable for many. How should we now compare ourselves with other users? How can companies measure the effectiveness of their contributions in the future?

Dangerous competition

So what is it that is driving Instagram to eliminate this trademark of the social media channel? The power of likes has a significant impact on the psyche of users. Young users compare themselves, measure their personal value by how popular they are on Instagram and how many likes they get. In the eyes of the platform operators, this means that the actual purpose of Instagram is lost: people should share their moments, network and create communities, not compete with each other. For this reason, the company has decided to gradually remove the publicly visible total number of likes. In the future, users will be able to focus on photos or videos again and the social pressure will be reduced.

New key figures

There is wild speculation on the future measurability of Instagram on the net. In recent years, other key figures have already become increasingly decisive for marketers. Even if likes were still in the foreground, the so-called Vanity Metrics (likes, follower, …) become more and more irrelevant. Meanwhile, success is also determined by impressions, interactions or conversion, which is also taken into account in the Insights at Instagram. Marketers should continue to concentrate on these key figures in the future, as they will probably gain in importance without the likes. The content itself will become even more important. Without the direct evaluation of the content, it becomes even more important what is posted to keep up with comments or saves. With that in mind, the question arises in how far you have to adapt your content? If users save their posts, the algorithm will take them into account even more. Will this be the new currency for Influencer?
A function that could become even more important in the future are stories. These have become more and more relevant over the last year. They allow users to interact with each other even more easily and directly, generating an incredible number of calls. This is already a tool of the platform, which works without likes.

Focus on PaidAds

If the indication of the disappearing of likes, companies must find a solution to generate their reach differently. One possible way to do this is certainly a major investment in social ads. The advantage for Instagram and the disadvantage for marketing is that the cost is much higher than the cost of generating organic reach.

Comparison without likes not excluded

It is questionable whether Instagram can achieve its goal, reducing the social pressure and competitive behaviour of users, by hiding the disparity between themselves and the other users. Users will find other criteria to compare each other online.
The fact is, however, that marketers and influencers need to be prepared for a change and should know how to deal with the possible changes that may or may not occur on one of the most relevant social media platforms. What solution Instagram itself will offer to the professional users of its channel is still uncertain. We are excited to see what the change will look like.