How hiding likes will change the face of the Influencer Marketing Industry
There have been talks about Instagram hiding likes since Facebook’s F8 event earlier in the summer and they have now intensified with multiple reports over the weekend that the change could happen within the next couple weeks. The focus from the beginning has been on improving mental health for the average Instagram user, which is completely valid as it’s been proven that receiving likes can have an almost drug like euphoric effect for many users. With mental health taking the lead, almost everyone has ignored the impact that removing likes will have on the $15 billion dollar+ influencer marketing industry and it’s a monumental one.
A Double Standard
For the average user, likes on a picture or video act like validation, essentially reconfirming popularity on every post. Which is why many users go to great lengths to make sure every post is exactly the way they want it. From the location, to their facial expression, the time of day its posted and most importantly which hashtags they include in order to maximize organic reach. Not only does all that hold true for an influencer but post likes (specifically avg. post likes) go even further as perspective brands use them to evaluate and select talent for paid partnerships. So if mental health is in question for the average user, you can imagine what influencers go through on a daily basis.
If likes are hidden how will influencers differentiate themselves? This topic has also been heavily debated mainly with A List celebrities voicing their displeasure, which makes sense as they have the most to lose. So what’s next? Enter influencer marketing platforms.