Instagram’s new tactic to no longer view likes will have a negative impact on businesses and influencers

By Angelina Halas
November 20, 2019

According to The Guardian, Instagram is going to stop others from viewing how many likes another post has gotten. This is a big concern for businesses and influencers as they rely heavily on Instagram for profit. 

Instagram CEO believes that no longer allowing users to view others likes will make it a safer place on the internet, according to Later. Design created by Angelina Halas.

Rapper Nicki Minaj has said that she will stop using Instagram all together and Cardi B thinks that taking away the likes won’t do anything and that Instagram should take away the comments instead. 

Junior social work major Marianna Chance doesn’t agree with what Instagram is doing but thinks that if they took away the comments, that would make it worse. 

“The comments is a place where people can really express themselves,” Chance said. “If they take the comments away, how else will they say what they want to say?” 

Chance believes that taking away the viewing of other’s likes is bad for businesses and influencers because it’s really what they depend on to know what other people are liking and are interested in. 

Junior psychology and Spanish major Luisanna Mora agrees with Chance that taking away likes may not be the best approach for businesses and influencers. 

According to Hootsuite, brands pay Instagram influencers anywhere between $100 and $2,085 per post. Photo from Flickr.

“This isn’t a good thing for the people that are making money off of Instagram,” Mora said. “These people have created their platform to raise awareness or make a living off of it to influence the people around them.” 

Mora points out that their income comes from how much influence they have on other people and that’s what is shown in their likes. If followers can’t see that, then their followers start to decrease and so will their income. 

Even though Mora thinks it would be good to take away the comments instead of likes, she acknowledges how that just wouldn’t be possible. 

“How would they connect with other people?” Mora said. “How would they communicate? What if there’s a misunderstanding and they need to give feedback to their followers? So it really wouldn’t work.” 

According to Sprout Social, Instagram has over one billion active monthly users. Photo from Canva.

The Guardian also points out that likes prove what’s being posted is high quality and good validation of produced content. It also adds how companies tend to look at what businesses and influencers post to view how successful they are. 

Assistant professor of communication Nune Grigoryan points out that this transition will not hurt the bigger businesses because they have already gained a large fan base and are well known, but for some smaller companies and influencers, it will be a problem. 

“A lot of times influencers gain visibility through likes and get clients through likes,” Grigoryan said. “Brands are reaching out to them because of their likes and this will hurt their visibility for sure.” 

Grigoryan continued on to explain how smaller businesses don’t have a lot of money for ads and likes were their way of really getting out there, but now they won’t have that. 

Grigoryan also mentioned that Instagram might be doing this to profit for themselves. 

“They are a corporation so there’s always going to be a profit for themselves,” Grigoryan said. “They’re not losing anything. Whether it’s short term profit for them or long term profit, it’s always for the company.” 

Grigoryan brought up the concern that if people can’t see likes, they might start to question what the point is to like a picture in the first place and that might also alter their engagement overall with Instagram, including having followers stop commenting. 

“This is really something to look ahead to,” Grigoryan said. “I think it will change a little bit the social media landscape in terms of other companies following up on this tactic or trying to play with it a little bit more.” 

Angelina Halas

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