When Instagram announced the removal of likes on the platform, we mourned the easy access we had to an influencer’s top line engagement metrics; concerned about what it would mean for social media and influencer marketing.
Three months on, Facebook has now decided to trial the removal of likes in Australia. This is a bold decision for the social media giant who made the ‘thumbs up’ a globally recognised symbol of online popularity and approval.
When Facebook announced the major platform change on Monday, the social media giant cited similar motivations that led Instagram to remove the like count. Mia Farlick, the ANZ Director of Policy at Facebook said, ‘the test aimed to help people focus less on likes and more on telling a story’. From this, we can conclude that it’s a way of harnessing the social elements of the platform and shifting away from the popularity contest that negatively affected the mental health of many Australians.
Three months on, we also believe this change has also benefitted the world of social media and influencer marketing.
Here are 3 reasons why we should be celebrating the removal of likes:
While likes are a great way to measure how engaged your audience is with your content, it has been known to overshadow more important metrics, like driving traffic to a website. Now that this ‘vanity’ metric is hidden, it gives us the opportunity to explore other measurement options that are likely more important for a client’s bottom line.
The removal of likes allows influencers to experiment with new types of creative that break away from highly curated feeds and ‘polished’ content. This could be beneficial for brand collaborations by making their endorsements carry more weight due to the influencers not being so dependent on the validation of likes.
By removing the like count, we can use social media platforms to create more conversation. This means encouraging comments and creating a space where a consumer’s opinions are valued. Perhaps this change will entice consumers to write a comment or send a DM instead of hitting the like button, creating genuine consumer-brand relationships.
At this stage, we don’t know if the removal of likes will become the platform’s standard operating procedure. But we’re hoping this change is here to stay.
Could the follower count be next to go?