Instagram wants to redirect its focus to the content itself. Some influencers have been known to fake their engagement rates using Instagram pods ( Instagram engagement groups ) or by buying likes and comments.
It was because brands and agencies only work with influencers who had the best engagement rate to launch a campaign.
This is why it was the most important part; the higher the engagement rate, the better a post performs. So, the higher the engagement rate, the higher the reach. The higher the reach, the higher the exposure the advertised product was getting. The higher the exposure, the higher the potential sales could be made. The higher the sales, the higher the revenue. The higher the revenue, the higher the price for the overall influencer campaign. The higher the price, the richer the influencer was getting.
All that is to say: the higher the rate of engagement, the more money that influencer makes.
The number of followers does not really matters anymore. Brands actually prefer to work with smaller accounts now (10,000 to 15,000 followers) because these accounts usually have a fairly high engagement rate. They are cheaper to work with, and therefore, they usually provide a higher ROI.
If Instagram does hide the number of likes on posts, that means that the engagement rate of an account suddenly becomes inaccessible.
Does that mean that the number of followers will be the only figure that matters again? I do not think so. Faking the number of followers you have is way too easy. It is even easier than to cheat on your engagement rate.
Without buying followers, you can simply grow your account by using a mass-follow method or any follow-unfollow bot. You can grow an Instagram account from 0 to 10,000 subscribers in less than four months.
These techniques are way less noticed by Instagram itself as the growth almost appears organic. However, tools like Auditor for Instagram can help you identify if an Instagram account is using such methods. Similar tools are becoming more and more popular among brands and agencies.
Therefore, relying on such methods is not sustainable if you are an influencer or if you are trying to “make it” on Instagram.
Will hiding the number of likes on posts end the influencer era?
The engagement rate was all that mattered and that metric will be gone. We now know that the number of subscribers is even less of a relevant metric to look at.
Influencers will just use Instagram stories, and they will sell companies product through the swipe up feature with an affiliate link. This way, the reach of the campaign and the ROI are totally accessible by the brand and/or the agency.
This way, the influencer cannot cheat about the legitimacy of his or her audience. Everything becomes measurable and even more transparent than it used to be.
We are also seeing that Instagram is working and investing a lot of money to make the process of buying through the platform easier, with the least amount of friction as possible.
Influencers will just promote brands and products using stories, and they will just use regular posts to keep their community posted about what they do, their lifestyle, and so on.
Instagram Stories is the future, businesses should start learning how to use this feature. And we urge start ups and small businesses to embrace the opportunities it has to grow your individual sales and profits.
Do share your reviews and thoughts on this in the comment box below.