What does the latest "vanity" change to Instagram mean?

The rise of the Influencer

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The rising use of influencer marketing across social media has gone through the roof over the past few years. With everyone from Instagram to Youtube, across facebook.

Instagram is still one of the favorite platforms for influencer engagement with 500,000 influencers, Coming in behind Youtube who has 3 million. 

However in July, Instagram rolled out “vanity metrics” changes across Australia (and other chosen countries) to remove the public like counter on user posts. The post owner can still see how many likes and who left them, but they would be invisible to everyone else. The only data that the account follower can see is the comments that are left. 

Why have Instagram made the changes? 

“ It will take time and we have a responsibility to get this right. We need to create a safe and supportive community for everyone – but this is not as simple as just switching off a button.” 

Instagram are hoping to take the competition out of posting on the platform, they are hoping to ease pressure on Instagram users to post content that get a lot of likes. They have made the change for a more positive culture on Instagram, looking to improve the quality of content and in turn improve users mental health.  You can find more about it in their press release.  

This is a massive step by one of the most powerful e-commerce platforms available. 

What does this mean for the Influencer Marketing network or your business? Well, Influencers are still being assessed, judged and scored but other users aren't seeing the vote.  Influencers are up in arms about the changes. Their “likes” count are their shopfront, and where companies go to look at the popularity contest. Now they have to contact the influencers directly for the stats or….. influencers have to go looking. 

In reality “likes” are the least useful way to evaluate a successful post. The real metrics sit beneath the surface and are still available. What is the post engagement rate? How many impressions were there? What was the post reach?

If you are a business working with Social Media Marketing or using Influencers make sure you are reviewing the metrics that matter. 

One of the biggest trends with this rollout of the “vanity metrics” will be a reduction of up and coming influencers on the market. Influencers will be unable to advertise their popularity through the easy-to-see metric of how many likes each post gets. 

I recommend a highly aware approach to digital and influencer marketing. Ensure the goals of the brand are met with a campaign that contributes to wider digital marketing efforts, rather than working separately from them. By making sure the platforms and metrics are appropriate for the brand and the client, marketing efforts deliver an accurate experience for our clients and their followers.