Instagram To Remove Likes in US; an attempt to ‘depressurize’ cyber bullying or gain control of monetization?

Instagram has been at the center of research when it comes to cell phone addiction, depression and cyber bullying, so when the company rolled out plans to remove the like button they claimed it was to aid in the fight against the ladder.

“What we’re hoping to do is depressurize Instagram a little bit, and make it a bit less of a competition,” Instagram boss Adam Mosseri told Bloomberg after announcing the new test at a conference in San Francisco sponsored by Wired magazine. “The idea is to try and reduce anxiety and social comparisons, specifically with an eye towards young people.”

A bit less of competition is exactly what will happen! It will be harder for other companies to cut out instagram when they go searching for influencers to market products.

Why pay Instagram When you can pay the influencer directly.

When seeking out new influencers companies look at the number of followers, the type of content and the ENGAGEMENT A.K.A. the likes.

Instagram and facebook alike have formal approaches to sponsoring Ads, which give the companies formal access to analytics. We’ve seen this in brand partnerships. However companies surpass these options. Why pay the middle man when you can and give the money directly to influencers. These likes also influence others to buy, follow and try new products.

Companies trust authentic engagement from an actual person pushing a product versus a sponsored ad promising likes within a specific time frame. Karen Civil took note on twitter;

Removing the like count will make it harder for companies to gauge accounts with high impressions. There are huge endorsement deals happening on instagram with mega celebrities with millions of followers but there is also a whole “middle class” of influencers whose livelihood may be affected by the removal.

While I commend instagram in doing their part to “depressurize” the gram, I question the step as strategy to also garner control of the money.

Testing Their Largest Market

Instagram has been hiding like counts in some markets since April, beginning in Canada, and later expanding to Japan and Brazil. The U.S. is one of Instagram’s largest markets with more than 106 million users, according to data analyst EMarketer. Plans to remove the like count in the U.S. is set to roll out as early as net week.

Users will still be able to see the likes they receive on their posts if they want, but those metrics won’t be visible to others on Instagram, the company said. Mosseri said the test will begin next week, and will impact just a portion of Instagram’s U.S. user base.

The streets are talking and not buying the removal of likes as a move of philanthropy.

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