Influencers have compared Instagram’s decision to hide “likes” on posts to not getting any applause at the end of a performance. And they have a point, after all, isn’t social media all about attracting and gathering validation for individuals, a brand or business? Well not anymore. From now on it may become a platform on which to post content simply for the sake of sharing something that’s meaningful to you. And speaking of business –how is this change likely to impact your dealership’s marketing efforts on Instagram?

They don’t like me?

The hugely popular social media platform implemented the new policy of removing “likes” in Canada in early 2019, then expanded the testing into other countries, including Ireland, Australia, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.

No pressure

Instagram claims their decision to remove the “like” feature is an attempt to reduce negative impacts on mental health and ease societal pressures for the site’s users. But the feature won’t be completely hidden; you can see the number of likes on your own posts, just not on other people’s photos and videos. So now instead of a popularity contest, and a frantic attempt to gather as many likes as possible, Instagrammers will be able to share “authentically and comfortably” on the site, according to a Facebook spokesperson.

How will it affect businesses?

Test participants have claimed it’s a good move, saying it’s become a more pleasant experience and lessens the frantic need for an ego boost that constantly checking for likes invokes. But others are worried it will lead to less user engagement and make it harder to promote products or services they market on the site.

A plus side for business, maybe?

On the other hand, individual users, in general, may feel less pressure to constantly post with the sole aim of getting likes, and instead enjoy focusing on sharing more authentic and meaningful content. It could really change the nature and quality of content on the site. And it may also have a possible benefit for businesses. You just have to discover other ways of measuring your post’s success. Take a good long look at your content strategy and start implementing some analytics to prove that it’s worth the investment of time and money that you’ve put into it. It’s time to switch from counting likes to looking at some hard data.

The change has yet to affect users in the United States as of October 2019, but it may come here soon enough. You may not like it, but you must be prepared!

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