How Do You ‘Like’ That? Is Instagram Removing the Like Button?

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As the saying goes – In business, numbers are everything. What’s the Return on Investment? What are the profit margins? How many views are you getting? In today’s climate, there’s an argument to be made that social currency is equally as valuable as cold hard cash. And for years, one of the biggest indicators of a brand’s social currency was rooted in how many people you can get to tap that little heart on the bottom corner of a post. 

Well, Instagram recently announced that it’s going to begin testing the removal of the public “Like” feature from their platform now in the United States. The move is an effort to protect the mental health of its users. As Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram said in an interview, “It’s about young people. The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love and things that inspire them.”

Though it shouldn’t affect big companies much, the question is how will this affect the smaller businesses that are leaning on social validation as a way to grow their brand? 

Well, all is not lost. And in the long run, these changes could prove to lead to more opportunities to communicate on the platform with less pressure. With tactical metrics such as likes no longer being one of the top metrics for engagement, we’ll be looking at stats like saves and shares. The real telling sign of your hold on an audience will be rooted in how people communicate on the post in the comment section. We’ll be looking to use other features on Instagram as a way to tell our stories and encourage audiences to join the conversation. One of the features that’s become increasingly popular is the “Stories” feature that allows the user to create “in the moment” content that gives the audience an authentic look behind the curtain. Other features include A/B polls, slider polls, True/False and a lot more.

Moving forward, the goal for your business/brand should be to put a stronger focus on the call to action. Whether that is sharing a post on their Instagram Story, leaving comments, or encouraging people to tag their friends – calls to action are going to be more important than ever. And if done correctly, it could prove to be a better tool in growing your brand organically. How do you like that?