How will Instagram hiding ‘likes’ affect marketing?

It’s happening: Instagram is hiding “likes.”

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said last week that a feature which hides “likes” from the public eye has been tested in numerous countries and will be rolled out in the U.S. over the coming days.

He tweeted: “Heads up! We’ve been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We’re expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the U.S. next week. Looking forward to the feedback!”

What impact will Instagram hiding Likes have on marketing and how should brands adapt?

Mae Karwowski, founder & CEO, Obviously

We’ve known this was coming for months. If you have the right technology, hidden likes are not a problem. Good influencer marketers will still have access to those metrics even if they’re hidden. We’ll still be able to know an influencer’s engagement rates before committing to working with them, and we’ll still be able to fully report on performance metrics. Overall, it’s going to become really clear which agencies have the tech, strategy, and expertise to thrive despite this change.

Influencers welcome this change for the most part too. We surveyed more than 300 international influencers in the summer when these tests first started rolling out worldwide. We found that the majority of those surveyed, 62 percent, wanted their likes to remain hidden. More than 51 percent didn’t see a change in the number of likes they received even when they were hidden. And in our sentiment analysis, we saw more than two times the positive comments over negative ones.

Read more to see what our CMO Fredda Hurwitz thinks about Instagram removing likes on Campaign.