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How the Removal of Instagram Likes Can Affect Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy

Last Modified: January 31, 2023


In recent years, social media influencers have greatly benefited from the use of Instagram. Along with garnering large followings that provide a sort of legitimacy and prestige, Instagram has proven to be a powerful app for its use as part of an affiliate marketing strategy. Affiliates have been able to prosper and, equally, help the brands they’re partnered with, by utilizing Instagram’s aesthetic capabilities — wherein partnered content can be crafted and shared with ease, all without breaking the genuine aesthetic of the creator.

But recent changes have been implemented, thanks to Instagram’s executives: Instagram likes are starting to be phased out of the app. What effect is this going to have on both the app and your companies affiliate marketing strategy? Moreover, will your affiliate platform still work as before or will there be newly designed affiliate programs for Instagram? Let’s take a closer look.

What Changes Has Instagram Made?

Instagram revealed this year that they were going to begin a trial of feeds where likes were not displayed beneath photos. The decision comes after many complaints have been levied at Instagram and other social media apps that claim the function of “likes” is harmful to mental health and well-being. The concern of vanity brought about by likes can negatively impact a person’s image of themselves, creating a comparison between your profile versus others. By removing public likes from feeds, Instagram is hoping to see if they can reverse any negative effects currently caused by the app and its features.

How This Affects Your Affiliate Program

Marketing teams and influencers are worried about this change to Instagram, wondering how it will affect their overall influence and traffic. In particular, marketers are worried that it will become harder to track progress in accordance to certain posts.

While this is an understandable response, there is no reason to fret over this change at Instagram headquarters. There are still many metrics that can be utilized to track the effectiveness of certain affiliate campaigns and posts beyond likes. Although the metrics will only be visible to creators and the affiliate platform connected to their accounts, it will still be easy to track how well an affiliate is connecting with their audience.

Don’t Expect Content to Change

While likes might disappear, don’t expect content to change. Instagram, at its core, is a well-varnished app, with content creators editing their photos and lives to present themselves to their audience as they wish. While it’s a highly crafted app, content creators still do their best to present their authentic selves — the person that their audience can most relate with.

Removing likes from the platform won’t change the type of content produced. Influencers will still create content that is authentic, making it easy for their audience to relate to their experiences and recommendations. For this reason, we shouldn’t expect to see a change in the way affiliate posts are crafted and posted to the app.

Affiliate Programs for Instagram Will Still Work

Although we as Instagram users place a lot of weight on likes, influencers and content creators will still be visible, thanks to the app. Content creators will still be able to engage with their users and brands will still be able to market their products to users, thanks to partnered affiliates.

Affiliate programs

While the feel of Instagram might change, people will become more accustomed to it, and affiliate programs for Instagram will continue working as they once did. Likes are just one part of the overall metrics utilized to track affiliate progress within an affiliate platform.

The most noticeable difference that will be felt by is newfound influencers attempting to become affiliates. Likes have largely been used as a marketing chip for prospective affiliates — a badge of success. While it might be more difficult to market oneself to a brand, affiliates can still utilize other metrics, from engagement to follower counts, to show personal legitimacy to a brand.

Just because something has changed doesn’t mean the platform has been ruined. In reality, it might help more than we think. While it might feel uncomfortable to change, your company could end up finding its original affiliate marketing strategy works just as well as it did before. For any other questions regarding affiliate marketing, feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable staff!

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey