Instagram Testing Hidden Likes on Posts – The Buyer’s Journey 46

Instagram is testing hiding likes in Canada in an effort to reduce negative emotions for users on the app. But what does this mean for influencers? We discuss.

The Advocacy Stage: A Refresher

The Advocacy stage of The Buyer’s Journey focuses on your former and current clients/customers advocating for your brand. This advocacy can come in many forms. These forms include reviews on Amazon and Google and word-of-mouth between friends and families. Positive comments on social media can also be particularly effective. The Advocacy stage also encapsulates influencer marketing. While an influencers do receive compensation for positive comments from your brand, it’s still positive advocacy.

Advocacy can also include negative comments. As we mentioned in our Consideration episode, bad reviews are fantastic opportunities to make a situation right. While you can’t solve every problem, even just acknowledgement of an issue can be enough to strengthen brand strength. It’s okay to have a few scars.

Vanity Insanity

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine reports that Instagram is testing hiding likes on posts in Canada. The worry is that Instagram public like counts might be increasing user’s envy, shame, and competitive natures. By hiding them, only the creator can see how many likes they’ve gotten (and only if they count them each individually).

An example of an Instagram post with the like counter hidden from public view.

“Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profile,” an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.” Users in the test will have a notification appear on the top of their feed letting them know about the change.

An example Instagram post showing the notification to Canadian members that likes will be hidden during the test.

Something that Constine points out, and that we discuss in our episode, is the way this affects influencers. Typically, influencers make money based on how many likes they have. By hiding these likes, you hide the verification for the brand and you make it harder for influencers to show their worth. An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch, “We understand that this is important for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for them to communicate value to their brand partners.”

Check out our next episode where we’ll discuss a news article covering the Awareness stage of The Buyer’s Journey.

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