Instagram is removing the like feature on their feeds and VSCO girls everywhere are weeping. But what does this mean for the channel?

Hopefully, a safer platform. This change is a part of Instagram’s larger effort to make the channel a “safe digital space.” While the user will still be able to see who liked their own posts, the general public will no longer be shown the count, or the accounts. This change also aligns with Facebook and Instagram’s strategy to push brands toward IG Stories and short form videos.

“By reducing the focus on likes as an indicator of success, creators will have more creative control — focusing on content and transitioning their content towards video. With that shift, metrics will also have to shift. Time spent on the platform, engagement, views and other metrics will prevail as KPIs.”said Social Native founder and SEO David Shadpour.

While we might not be able to rely solely on our good ole’ engagement rate to determine the success of a post anymore, this will likely be a needed change from a brand perspective.

Marketers are finding that a high number of likes does not necessarily correlate with an increase of sales or brand recall. Other metrics such as video completion rates, time spent on platform and if the video was viewed with the sound on are better indicators for whether the user is truly engaging with the ad.

Just like all prior changes on Instagram, this will likely take a bit of time to adjust, in terms of measuring engagement and seeking affirmation. A good example: Instagram Stories. When the Story feature first were released – everyone was up in arms, unsure of what to post on the new feature! But look at us now – IG Stories has become a primary posting method.

So don’t panic: I suspect the removal of likes will follow a similar arc.