What Influencer Marketing Can Do in Light of Instagram’s Removal of Likes

The rumors are true: Instagram is working toward hiding visible likes on their platform. While this change is being phased in on user accounts in the United States, some countries like Canada, Japan, and Brazil, to name a few, have already seen this change on their app. 

What does that mean for brands and influencers? If you’re a Sideqik user, Instagram’s move won’t change your metrics too much.

With Sideqik, Your Marketing Team Can Keep Tracking “Like” Metrics

Sideqik authenticates influencers on the platform so we can gain access to the “like” data points that are not available to the general public. While Instagram is hiding “like” data from general users, Sideqik’s API access allows you to pull the “like” information into one place and combine it with your other Sideqik data points for a full view of the campaign success.

Why are Instagram “Likes” Going Away?

Instagram’s main focus at this point to create a healthy and safe place for its users to spend time online. In an effort to encourage inclusion, positive mental health, and overall community, Instagram believes this change will help move users in that direction. Instagram understands the effects that happen when users get caught up in the likes, particularly for their Gen Z audience and wants to fix that.  

Instagram aims to encourage people to focus on shared photos and videos instead of how many likes they get. While like stats will be hidden to the public, users will be able to see the direct numbers on their side through their backend. If a viewer or follower really wants to know how many likes were recorded for a specific piece of content, they would have to manually count them. 

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Hiding “Likes”

While there are mixed reviews about this change, there are some benefits to the switch. Users will focus on creating quality and engaging content to keep the conversation going and encourage new followers to join in. Gone are the days of worrying about the “right” time to post or refreshing your page to view that final “like count.” 

When you think about it, Instagram Story metrics are not public, but only visible to account holders, and this setup has not discouraged users from finding fun and creative ways to use this feature of the app. Users and marketers believe this same sentiment will be true for the like removal update. 

With any change there is going to be some criticism and frustration, so users will need to adapt and reevaluate the content they share and publish on Instagram. The major drawbacks are potentially connected more heavily to influencers and marketers. More on that below. 

What Does the Removal of “Likes” Mean for Influencers?

This update to Instagram can be seen as a big win for influencers. It could help them leverage more business opportunities and connect with brands. While engagement rates may see a shift when the hidden likes are app-wide, die-hard fans and true communities may come to light for influencer accounts

Influencers will now, more than ever, need to rely on their audience to help continue the conversations around brands and sustain those relationships. 

In reality, the hidden likes roll out will more than likely encourage a variety of content sharing. Content creators won’t have to be concerned with visible like counts and be able to express their creativity and originality more freely. No longer are the days of comparing likes and getting envious of another creator based on stats. 

Content will be focused on prioritizing quality and genuine enjoyment of sharing without the fear of validation from like quantities.  

How Can Brands Track Influencer Marketing Campaigns Without “Likes?”

These updates to Instagram can mean updates to brand partnerships with influencers as well. With outward-facing like metrics no longer available, companies will need to focus on new ways to measure the success of a partnership. 

Having these different metrics will be extremely helpful – especially if influencers feel the need to start Photoshopping their self-reported numbers through altered screenshots. Since the like information is only available through their login, brands must rely on different sources of stats and ways to validate the partnership.

This is where investing in the right tools for your influencer search and campaign is key.

Sideqik provides multiple data points (including Likes!) to help you find the right partner for your brand’s influencer marketing plan. Through the Sideqik’s influencer profiles, we use AI to give you an at-a-glance look at how an influencer performs before launching a relationship. No need to go in and manually count likes, you can use other types of data to focus on finding the right fit!

Plus a huge highlight of Sideqik’s features is the ability to connect with similar or lookalike influencers based on previous dream partnerships and profitable campaigns. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had success with one influencer or you know exactly the type of influencer you want, Sideqik uses machine learning and AI to suggest profiles with similar interests or followers.

By using the right tools, your marketing team can keep up with the changing landscape of Instagram and influencer marketing to still see success with those partnerships. Discover more about Sideqik and request a free demo for your team today!

Nancy Rothman

Nancy Rothman

Nancy is a passionate, results-driven marketing executive with more than a decade of experience in building robust integrated marketing programs for brands of all sizes, with specific expertise in the martech space. Prior to Sideqik, Nancy held roles at four successful martech startups, each of which received multiple series of fundraising and included two acquisitions. At CallRail, specifically, Nancy served as the director of marketing where she built the company’s brand and established it as a leader in its space. She also held roles at MeetEdgar, where she oversaw the entire sales and marketing practice, increasing the company's user base and annual recurring revenue, as well as PureCars, which was acquired by Raycom Media in 2015. As vice president of marketing for Sideqik, Nancy is responsible for developing and executing on the company's marketing strategy to drive overall business growth.

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