Instagram set to hide likes – will businesses finally sober up to social?

Mobile phone being used

Reported far and wide over the past week is news that Instagram will start to test the removal of publicly visible likes on posts. You’ll see the photo, the comments below, and that’s that. If rolled out system wide, the impact on businesses and influencers alike looks set to be momentous. Well, at least it should be in theory…

For far too long, local businesses have stumbled around Instagram in a drunken haze. How many followers yerrr got there pal, shhuureeee, pour me another! Head spinning with dizzying numbers, local businesses seem completely unaware of the grounded reality: social media is a blazingly fast ephemeral experience. Here today gone tomorrow.

And what the hell is a like anyway?

Is a like a truly valuable engagement, a lasting connection between business and potential client that sticks in the memory? Or is it merely a pico-second event. A double tap. A quick scroll. Your business message replaced by the next and the next.

Despite that, likes have become a craved commodity. Influencers parlay likes and follower counts into media kits and price lists. Here in Utah, you’d better be willing to part with several hundred dollars minimum to get on the radar of most accounts with five figure followings. For their part, most influencer’s advertising options rarely attempt to demonstrate any meaningful value beyond the .

Put down the bottle and go ahead and ask your local IG influencer how they’ll connect the dots and demonstrate the value of your ad buy. See what response you get…

It’s not all the fault of the influencer mind you. Things don’t get much better on the businesses side of the relationship. It’s rare I see a local businesses working with even the modest modest of attribution models; in fact I can’t tell you the last time I saw one in the wild at all in the restaurant world. There’s little more than a hope and a prayer that those 100s or 1000s of likes translate to folks coming through the doors.

But here’s hoping that’s all about to change, and business owners will start to wise up.

Without being able to point to likes, influencers will need to develop a whole new business model in order to demonstrate value to businesses. Well that’s if the businesses can put down the bottle and sober up a little that is…

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