You read about it and you feared it. You knew this was coming and it has happened. Instagram has rolled out ‘Hidden Likes’ count in the UAE. You can still see who has liked a post, just not a total figure adding up the number of times it’s been double tapped.
Instagram announced the move back in April 2020 and started testing the update in selected regions across the world. The point is to get people to focus on content quality. ‘Likes’ will always be an engagement metric but the continued dequantification of the ‘Like’ will help to ensure that it does not negatively influence social activity.
Less Influential Influencers
With the Likes count hidden, Instagram has effectively rocked the boat for digital marketing practitioners around the world. Influencers in particular are facing the brunt now that the much loved vanity metric is gone and posts that initially came with massive Likes counts are now forced to make an individual impression on each user. It will become harder for Social Media influencers to take advantage of the snowball effect that helps them generate popularity and go viral.
No More Social Media Mob Behavior
The hiding of the Likes count has also led to an improvement in social media mob behavior and is expected to influence the way trending content rises up and goes back down. The move is designed to make it easier for quality content to break through and gain visibility. UAE’s Instagram users will now ‘Like’ content based on how it makes them feel rather than being influenced by the number of ‘Likes’ that the post has already accrued. This is also expected to help fight cyber bullying and suppress offensive content.
Say NO To Vanity Metrics
Fans and followers have always been a favorite (read: over-rated) metric of a page’s popularity. However, the number of a page’s fans and followers has never been able to compare to the reach and online visibility that is possible through paid promotion options. Instagram’s move to hide Likes is a perfect demonstration of how social media stakeholders need to realign their social marketing priorities. UAE Businesses often wonder how they can increase their fans count and miss out on the important metrics such as Reach, Clicks, CTR, Conversion Rate and Engagement Rate. Read more about it here.
Out Of The Box, But By The Books
Instagram’s decision to hide Likes has also served as a wake-up call for businesses, to implement digital marketing strategies that are truly value-driven – for the consumer as well as for the business. Businesses choosing to use Instagram as a marketing tool now have the opportunity to focus on creating and deploying social media strategies that are built purely around quality. The move will help ensure that businesses are now able to compete based on their creativity and how they utilize Instagram’s audience targeting features. Not sure where to start? Check out how we do Instagram marketing right.