Instagram have shocked all of us with their recent tweet about the new update they’re applying on the platform. If you don’t already know by now, this one is going to shock you! The photo App has decided to no longer let its users see each others’ number of likes.
And, to be honest, it’s so strange coming from an App that basically made our photographic lives – and by photographic we mean taking photos in general – revolve around the number of likes we get per photo.
To the point that some people even carefully choose specific timings of the day to post their photos; based on which hours people are most active on the App or on the internet, in general.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
We’re looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram.
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
Since this move will evidently affect all of us in so many ways, and specifically content creators from digital PR specialists to social media influencers and bloggers, we decided to talk to some of them and get their full opinions on the topic:
Younis is a creative director, video creator and entertainer who has exactly 180K followers on Instagram and an average of 30K views per video/post if not more.
“For me, I see that this update will have no effect whatsoever on the regular consumers. Because they simply are not logging onto Instagram to see which person had the most likes nor do they want to be influencers. Therefore, they only care about their people as well as their own personal usage,” said Younis.
That being said, even though Younis told us that this will definitely affect content creators, still, as long as there’s a full detailed report to be sent to the brands/agencies they’re dealing with to prove the engagement rates, then there’s no problem.
“However, I have another concern about this. As a content creator, if I’m dealing with a client who needs to see my full Instagram analytics and is afraid of receiving a photoshopped report or screenshot. I’m obviously not going to give him my password to check. And unfortunately, this whole photoshopping thing is a possibility in that case,” he added.
According to one of Marwan’s friends, Bassem, he noted that in terms of buying and having fake followers; the update will be a huge disadvantage for actual content creators since people and brands – at least from the outer image – will no longer be able to tell the difference between those who actually offer something through their content, and those who are just there with their fake followers.
And the reason people will no longer be able to tell the difference is that if someone has 1 Million followers for example, but only receives like 100 likes; we would know his account is definitely not genuine. But with the update, no one will have a clue!
Mekawy is an entertainer, social media influencer and the founder of Double Trouble Entertainment Advertising Agency. He has 1M followers on Instagram with an average of 30K views/likes per post.
“If I’m going to talk about it from a PR and advertising agency perspective; I’d say that this will actually not affect us, at all. Because we base our work and reports on the analytics we extract from several websites,” said Mohamed Mekawy, Social Media Influencer and Founder of Double Trouble Entertainment.
Mekawy doesn’t think that something like that will directly affect his business because they already work with websites that determine the engagement rates, likes, followers and fake followers.
Those websites could even compare between the popularity and rates of a specific account the agency is handling and other similar global accounts, for example. Therefore, Instagram not making those insights public anymore is not a problem for him.
Additionally, if we’re still only talking business, Mekawy stressed that because clients trust them, they already know how the numbers are usually doing. Since you should already have a strong background on who has the most engagement rates..etc.
“In my own non-business-related opinion, I actually don’t consider this a bad thing. There are so many people out there who feel insecure about putting out their content because of the validation those likes are supposed to give them. Therefore; it’ll be easier for people – talented or not – to put out their content with no societal pressures or number comparisons; as it is now,” Mekawy added.
Touny is a food blogger and is the co-founder of Cairo Loop by the Tounys. His business page on Instagram has 20K followers with an average of 1K likes/views per post.
He had a bit of a different opinion than Mekawy’s, but also thinks that this whole situation has two sides.
“Usually, the Instagram reach puts a huge pressure on content creators; especially when it comes to sponsoring content and stuff like that. Therefore, the idea of no longer showing the likes to people will relieve us from this part a bit,” Touny said.
However, he thinks that while it might create some difficulties for clients to target a specific person for paid collaborations; since they no longer know much about their engagement rates, still, there’s a challenge in all of it for the person to create better content himself. And put out the best he has. Since now he’s the only one who primarily knows about his own insights. So it’s sort of became the person vs his own work, rather than the person vs the client.
That being said, Touny thinks that it’ll completely destroy the idea of competition between similar pages and accounts. And unfortunately, there will no longer be much difference between the big pages that create heavy content and other smaller ones. Which is not quite fair!
On top of that, Touny mentioned something very important about how not showing the number of likes could lead people to not even care to press the button anymore. Which will definitely affect the reach and insight reports that go to the clients.
Not only that, but the content creator himself will no longer be able to tell if people are actually interested or not!
Ibrahim is a social media influencer who works in Digital Marketing and PR. He has 144K followers on Instagram with an average of 2K in terms of engagement rates. And like the rest, he sees the pure negative side of it.
“This will definitely affect the market. Brands will get lost in fake profiles and followers. However, as a content creator, since I’ll be seeing the engagement rate myself, I’ll be working on tailoring the best content for my followers. As a brand manager, it’s going to be insane to define who are the real content creators with a positive influence,” Biko said.
El-Menshawi is a digital PR Specialist and Media Manager. She has 15K followers on her own personal account with an average of 300 likes/views per post, in addition to the account she manages. El-Menshawi too had a strong opinion about the topic.
“This update will definitely affect us; we’re already working on coming up with alternatives. Since this was one of the main tools we used to evaluate and assess the accounts we’re handling,“ she said.
El-Menshawy stressed that they will have to totally change the consumer perception towards the likes they receive on their posts and how they see the engagement. And convince them that it’s not going to affect them that much, even though they’re aware of the negative sides.
However, El-Menshawy also addressed the positive side of it for the agencies. Because they will now be able to manually access the full reports and see the detailed statistics of the person/influencer they’re dealing with. Since this will be the only way to determine whether or not they’ll be collaborating.