Instagram likeless test

Instagram’s like removal test: how could it affect organic gambling content?

Instagram has been testing the removal of its like visibility in the US and Canada. Recently, the popular social media platform announced that this trial will be rolled out across the world.

Influencers have discussed both the positive and negative aspects of these changes, but how could organic gambling content be affected? We look at the pros, cons and what should be measured in this blog post.

Potential pros 

One reason that Instagram even considered this idea was because of concerns over a lack of authenticity on its platform. You don’t need to go far to find evidence of this, either. On many hashtags and geotags, you’ll see the same pictures over and over again. Somebody’s standing on top of a mountain, or they’re taking a picture in front of the same neon sign as dozens of other people in the past hour. As quoted from this article: “what gets liked, gets created.”

If the removal of likes becomes permanent, gambling brands should view this as an opportunity. It’ll help to create a place where users are forced to be more original. Thus, the really creative brands could find it easier to stand out.

We should also note that likes going doesn’t mean that you’ll run out of ways to measure audience engagement. Arguably, the comments section is even more important. For example, you might stumble across some accounts now with thousands of comments. However, it’s also possible that a large number of these are generic “great shot!” or similar… without substance. Through the removal of likes, you can focus on honing more meaningful connections with your audience.

Potential cons

Although Instagram removing likes has its positives, there’s always a flip side. Over the past year, many ‘influencers’ on this platform have already noticed their content getting pushed down in feeds and viewed by fewer people. Because of this, their engagement rates and visibility have both suffered.

Although people will technically still be able to like content – they just won’t be able to see who has done so, unless it’s their friends – other KPIs will become more important. In a recent piece we published, the topic of Instagram metrics was discussed. But if smaller brands performing well on likes (and gaining more visibility as a result) find that this metric has changed, then they could find themselves struggling. It’s therefore even more vital that creative teams keep on top of what will and won’t rank on Instagram, going forward.

The bottom line 

The importance of authenticity is already high. If Instagram makes its like removal feature permanent, however, then this will only grow. As such, the best way to combat any potential changes is through creating work that gives followers a genuine reason to provide more meaningful engagement. This could be in the form of genuine comments, or even having your posts shared in users’ stories. Since popularity won’t be determined by likes anymore, brands have a real opportunity to take their content to the next level with less pressure.

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