Facebook-owned Instagram has been testing removing “likes” from posts for months in Australia, Brazil, Canada. Now this a reality for United States users. Not to mention that we could start to see this change effect our Facebook timeline. This change is something the GlynnDevins Social Media team has discussed in detail. Here is what you need to know:
In an effort to be more authentic and promote a community first approach, Facebook has introduced a variety of features that focus on this idea of “connection.” This feature being one. The fact that “like count” is out of sight means that users will focus on content rather than a number.
This can be considered a big win for small businesses and brands wanting to stand out. Even though ad spend on the platform increased by 177% on Facebook year over year, the gap between the businesses that pay and the businesses that use is a massive problem. Facebook, in an effort to get more advertisers, is making it easier to gain results.
Advertisers and brands will be able to post more freely without being limited to the best posting times. This can also mean that brands can advertise without the fear that their ads will appear to have little engagement. The hope is that ads results won’t be based on who is more popular – who has the most likes – rather, who has the highest click-through-rate.
“Likes” have always been a false currency. The action a user takes to “like” content takes much less effort than the other forms of engagement such as shares and comments. We have always weighted these insights differently and do not present clients with a breakout of each. Rather, we wrap all engagement into one metric – engagement rate. This metric provides a much better view of what content is working and what isn’t. But now more than ever, full-picture reporting is so important. We need to know what is working in terms of engagement but also, are sessions to the website also increasing? Are we seeing a lift in overarching conversions?
With the emphasis of a “like” dissipating, it will be interesting to see if this effects how users engage. We could see our average engagement rate increase. Without a public tally of likes, it is likely that comments and shares will be become an even stronger indicator of how people are interacting. Ultimately, our team will continue to encourage a focus on content that connects and appeals to the audiences who are most likely to take action and connect with our brands.
Now more than ever, brands must focus on showing their authentic self while subtly selling their competitive advantage. Video will continue to be a focus for our content.