The Ban on Instagram Likes; What It Means for The Nigerian Marcomms Space
Instagram Likes, it’s been four months since Instagram announced its plan to hide ‘likes’ on posts as part of efforts to create on the app, an environment that is void of pressure. One of the company’s heads, Adam Mosseri, had stated that the new development would allow for users to see who liked their own post only and not how many likes someone else’s post garnered; that way the app is less competitive.
While this gesture is quite timely seeing how ‘adventurous’ young people have become lately in their bid to grow followership and even more disturbingly, how they have come to accept ‘likes’ as a yardstick to measure their self-worth, there exists a graver consequence for the Nigerian Marcomms space, an industry that is right now heavily dependent on social media; Instagram being chief of the lot.
The test has started in other climes and going by the look of things, it just may be that the bigger picture for the Facebook-owned app, is to encourage users to use more of the stories since it is starting to look like people relate more with short videos as against static images.
Cool stuff but what does this really mean for the players in the industry, particularly Brand managers and their friends,Influencers?
Already experts have predicted this would mean both parties will demand more from each other and work harder than before to maintain relevance with customers and followers respectively.
Going forward, since users will no longer rely on existing Instagram likes to engage nor Brand Managers, to make certain decisions, influencers would have to create the content of high quality and strong messaging that can guarantee engagement. Brand managers though will still be able to access influencer’s count but will have to look away from the vanity metrics of likes and followers and judge the success of their campaigns based on actual sales.
More importantly, is the need for a new approach to reporting how impactful the influencer activity is. This may or may not require customers mentioning how they got introduced to the product, at the point of purchase but whatever it will be, concerned parties have to start building structures and templates before this wave hits Nigeria.