Instagram update: what does it mean for businesses?

Written by Phil Birss: Group CEO.
· 4 minute read

It has been recently released that the latest Instagram update will involve a trial period where it will test out hiding the like counter feature from its platform. It is said that Instagram wants to reduce how pressurised its users are when using the app, and instead of users focusing on likes for a sense of validation they will focus more on the content.

Instagram for businesses

Many Instagram users find their thumbs tapping on the pink and orange camera logo multiple times a day without even realising. It’s one of the first things we do when we wake up, get on the train, arrive at our desks and again over many more moments throughout the day like an involuntary movement we have no control over.

This is what makes Instagram such a fantastic way of showcasing your brand in front of your audience, you can be in the palm of their hand, quite literally, across multiple moments throughout the day. Instagram has a whole host of benefits for business users, this social media platform currently allows you to:

  • Grow your brand awareness
  • Display your latest products and services
  • Build anticipation and buzz around a topic
  • Collaborate with other users
  • Let your customers shop your offering whilst on the app.

What does the latest Instagram update mean?

It is no surprise that we are in an age where people try to fool their audience into thinking they have a large organic following and therefore have a greater ‘social validation’ than they actually do. Although Instagram has deployed numerous algorithms to cleanse this data as much as possible this tactic still occurs. However, by comparing the follower to like ratio, a business that wants to team up with an influencer can usually spot these type of falsely built up accounts. With the ability of being able to measure this removed, it can possibly make it harder for companies to find the right accounts to collaborate with.

Other effects of this change will more than likely dramatically change how users interact with this platform. Users have become inclined to judge content on the number of likes it has already received, however, if this metric is removed, it will allow the audience to create this judgement for themselves and absorb the content for what it is rather than what others think of it.

This proposed change will need marketers to reassess the metrics they currently use to evaluate their efforts and create new and updated objectives and aims of this social media channel. KPIs will need to shift to building real human interaction and conversation around content through the comments section of the post which will remain on the platform if the counter does get removed.

Fear not though if you aren’t quite ready for the latest Instagram update, it will be rolled out across Canada first before it is decided whether this functionality adaptation will go ahead across all of its users.