Instagram’s Decision to Remove ‘Likes’: What it Means for You – Digital Media Calendar
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Instagram’s Decision to Remove ‘Likes’: What it Means for You

  • October 12, 2023
  • Posted By : 360
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In recent times, Instagram made a notable change by removing the public ‘like’ count from all posts. This significant shift, aimed at reducing anxiety and social comparisons, was initiated in April 2019 in various countries before expanding to the United States in November of the same year.

The removal of 'like' counting has sparked concerns within the business community regarding social media engagement and brand awareness. This prompts the question: What could be the long-term repercussions of this change on your social media marketing efforts?

The Immediate Reaction

With a vast user base exceeding one billion monthly active users, Instagram offers substantial potential for businesses across industries. However, the removal of ‘like’ counting has raised concerns about navigating this highly engaged social media platform effectively.

While some businesses fear that the removal of ‘like’ counting could harm brand growth and awareness, others argue that this metric is superficial. Experts have noted that more sophisticated analytics tools can provide insights that extend beyond mere ‘likes,’ offering a richer understanding of customer behavior and opportunities for sales influence.

In light of this perspective, access to a well-balanced mix of Instagram data and engagement metrics allows businesses to measure content success and make informed decisions to enhance their Instagram marketing strategies.

Regarding influencer marketing, the removal of ‘like’ counting may have a minimal impact on businesses that prioritize delivering genuine value and fostering real engagement with Instagram users.

However, shortly after the ‘like’ removal initiative was implemented in November 2019, some influencers noticed a decrease in the number of interactions their posts received. This change sparked mixed reactions from Instagram users, including both businesses and influencers, as well as consumers.

Influence Impact

A survey conducted in 2019 revealed that over 50% of influencers across various industries reported a decline in interactions and follower growth since the change was introduced. Nevertheless, influencer agencies focused on securing brand partnerships and marketing campaigns appear less perturbed.

Experts argue that ‘likes’ hold limited long-term value and that their removal highlights the importance of working with influencers who genuinely connect with their audience and build trust.

What’s in a Story? The Link Between ‘Likes’ and Instagram Success

The removal of ‘like’ counting brings about a shift in the marketing mindset. Digital marketing is in a constant state of evolution, and adaptability is key to long-term success.

Facebook and Instagram anticipate that the removal of ‘like’ counting on Instagram will encourage businesses and influencers to share more original, value-driven content, which aligns with the platform’s core objectives.

While some influencers have observed a decline in post-performance since ‘like’ counting was removed, there are increasing opportunities to engage the audience creatively on the platform.

Instagram Stories and video (IGTV) have become popular mediums for general influencer social media engagement, surpassing the popularity of regular Facebook posts or Tweets.

Despite not displaying public engagement metrics, Instagram Stories effectively connect with the audience without the distraction of ‘likes’ and comments.

Additionally, experts believe that IGTV could be the next significant platform for Instagram marketers. Brands have successfully used IGTV to share entertaining and inspiring content, which has contributed to their success in promoting various initiatives.

What to Do Now?

Shift Your Focus: With ‘likes’ becoming less prominent, it’s time to shift your focus from vanity metrics to meaningful engagement. Look at comments, shares, and saves to gauge how your content is resonating with your audience. Engage with your followers through meaningful conversations in the comments section to build stronger connections.

Leverage Analytics: Use Instagram’s Insights and other analytics tools to gain deeper insights into your audience’s behavior. Track metrics such as reach, impressions, and profile visits to understand how your content is performing.

Content Strategy: Reevaluate your content strategy. Focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your target audience. Share stories, tips, and behind-the-scenes glimpses to humanize your brand.

Influencer Collaboration: While influencer marketing may have been impacted, collaborating with influencers who align with your brand values and have an engaged following can still yield positive results. Prioritize influencers who can authentically promote your products or services.

Why Make These Changes?

The removal of ‘like’ counting encourages businesses to build authentic relationships with their audience and provide value rather than seeking validation through ‘likes.’ Here’s why these changes are crucial:

Authenticity: Authenticity is the cornerstone of successful social media marketing. Removing ‘likes’ pushes brands to focus on being genuine and connecting with their audience on a deeper level.

Quality over Quantity: Instead of chasing likes, businesses can now prioritize creating content that genuinely resonates with their audience, leading to more meaningful and long-lasting connections.

Deeper Insights: By relying on a broader set of metrics and analytics, you gain a more comprehensive view of your audience’s behavior, allowing you to make data-driven decisions.

Reduced Anxiety: The removal of ‘likes’ can alleviate the pressure of seeking validation through numbers, promoting a healthier and less competitive environment on the platform.

What to Do Next?

Experiment and Adapt: Social media is ever-evolving. Experiment with different content formats, posting times, and engagement strategies. Adapt to changes in the platform’s algorithms and user behavior.

Explore New Features: Instagram regularly introduces new features and formats. Stay updated and take advantage of these features to keep your content fresh and engaging.

Community Building: Focus on building a strong online community around your brand. Encourage user-generated content and engage with your followers’ content as well.

In Conclusion

While the removal of ‘like’ counting might initially seem challenging, it presents an opportunity for businesses to refocus their Instagram strategies on authenticity, meaningful engagement, and providing value to their audience. By making these adjustments and staying adaptable, you can continue to thrive on this ever-evolving social media platform.

For comprehensive social media marketing management solutions, consider Digital Media Calendar. We specialize in helping businesses navigate the evolving social media landscape, ensuring their strategies align with the latest industry trends. With our expertise, you can effectively measure your success and build authentic connections with your audience. Contact us today to explore how we can enhance your social media marketing efforts in this new era of Instagram engagement.


1: Why did Instagram remove ‘Likes’ from posts?

Answer: Instagram removed ‘Likes’ as a part of an effort to reduce anxiety and social comparisons among its users. The idea was to shift the focus from seeking validation through ‘Likes’ to fostering more genuine connections and meaningful interactions on the platform.

2: How does the removal of ‘Likes’ affect businesses on Instagram?

Answer: The removal of ‘Likes’ has raised concerns among businesses regarding social media engagement and brand awareness. While some fear it may harm growth, others argue that it encourages a focus on more meaningful engagement and content quality. It also emphasizes the need to use sophisticated analytics tools to measure success beyond ‘Likes.’

 3: Has the removal of ‘Likes’ impacted influencer marketing on Instagram?

Answer: Yes, the removal of ‘Likes’ has had an impact on influencer marketing. Some influencers have seen a decline in interactions and follower growth. However, it highlights the importance of working with influencers who genuinely connect with their audience and build trust rather than relying solely on ‘Likes’ as a metric.

4: Are there alternative metrics to measure Instagram success after the removal of ‘Likes’?

Answer: Yes, there are several alternative metrics to measure Instagram success. These include metrics like engagement rate, reach, clicks, shares, comments, and conversion rates. Using a combination of these metrics provides a more comprehensive understanding of your content’s performance.

 5: How can businesses adapt their Instagram marketing strategies in the absence of ‘Likes’?

Answer: Businesses can adapt by focusing on creating original, value-driven content that resonates with their target audience. They should also explore Instagram Stories and IGTV as effective engagement tools. Additionally, businesses can use more comprehensive analytics tools to gauge their success and make data-driven decisions.

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