This week there's been a lot of chatter about Instagram’s test to remove counting ‘likes’ on posts.
I thought I’d set the record straight about what’s been happening.
This change has come about to make Instagram a “more enjoyable place to be” by removing the focus from users competing for the highest number of likes.
In a recent interview with CBS News, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said:
“We don’t want Instagram to be such a competition. We want it to be a place where people spend more of their energy connecting with the people that they love and the things that they care about.”
So, while individual users can still see their total like counts in the test, they’re not publicly displayed. This, says Mosseri, reduces social comparison.
But for those who make a living from being an “influencer”, this hasn’t been great news.
In this article by News.com.au, influencer Mikaela Testa slammed the test, claiming it was a “sad day” for people who have Instagram as a job.
Less likes and more storytelling
Here at Very Media, we’re all for the change.
It means there will be less emphasis on posting to gain ‘likes’ through click baiting and disingenuous content, and more emphasis on storytelling, which is at the heart of what we do.
We’re all about sharing stories and driving genuine connections, and we have helped many businesses do the same.
Just this month we presented a workshop, The Power of Content, to a sell-out audience during Gold Coast Business Week.
If you’re unsure how to drive engagement on Instagram, focus first on building your reputation. A great starting point is to nut out your company’s vision.
This isn’t about what product or service you deliver. It’s about purpose. Why do you do what you do? Why does your business exist?
Figure that out and share it with the world. People want to engage with brands that share the same values and beliefs as them.
As for Instagram’s test, we’ll wait and see if it stays or goes.
Facebook changes August 2019
The changes don’t stop there. There’s more to come in the world of social media.
On August 19, Facebook will reduce the visible primary text on ads from seven lines to three, meaning people will be prompted to click if they want to read additional text.
The maximum media height for photos and videos will also reduce on mobile news feeds.
What this means for businesses is you really need to focus on making those first three lines count. If you’re not engaging your target audience in those first three lines, then you’ve lost them. Driving engagement just became more difficult.
Also, from August 1 Facebook will be removing the following sections from its Business Pages:
This change shouldn’t have much impact on your business, but it's always good to know.