In digital marketing, you must be aware of the impact interface changes to social media platforms can have on your marketing campaigns. For example, YouTube removed the ability to “dislike” posts a few years ago, and it undoubtedly had an effect on measuring customer engagement as you could no longer detect which videos failed to resonate with viewers.

You might think social media platforms would notify the world of changes before they occur, but they are often spontaneous to the public. You can eventually adapt to these changes by comparing post insights; whereas before, you could get all of the information by looking at a single post. Facebook and Instagram seem to be headed in a similar direction, which will once again have consequences on digital marketing reporting.


Instagram has been making small changes that indicate the removal and downplay of the number of “likes” received on posts. This not only includes your personal posts, but also likes and views for other users’ posts. The reason for the change is to encourage users to concentrate on posts and the interaction with the app rather than putting so much emphasis on likes. Last year Instagram made the total number of post followers less prominent and is reportedly investigating public reaction on the complete suppression of profile page follower counts.

Instagram is hopeful that such changes will increase app engagement, social positivity, authenticity and revenue. On the other hand, these changes will likely make it more challenging for content creators, as many leverage metrics such as “likes” and follower counts to plan for future posts and maximize engagement.

Countering Instagram Changes

Adjusting to Instagram changes will require extra effort upfront, but it may be more beneficial in the long run. The “likes” count provided a quick way to get a pulse on how content was being received, but hopefully these recent changes will move businesses to produce content that evokes a more meaningful level of engagement. One that compels audience members to actually leave a comment, which can still serve as proof that you are posting material worthy of provoking audience response.