Instagram turned off likes in Australia on July 18th. We still get that data from our Australian influencers, so we are still seeing what is happening to engagement. We had our in-house data scientists take a look at some of that data and try and answer that question of what the hell is happening?
From July 18th to today, we've got 2,200 influencers in Australia that we have data for across obviously hundreds of thousands of posts. What we saw was a 20% decrease in engagement overall. It wasn't an immediate drop, but it is part of a larger trend that we saw. Now, my caveat to this, and what we're still looking into, is that that drop in engagement seems to be happening across the entire platform. Australia did fall more. It did look like it was falling faster than the rest of the platform in general, but the rest of the platform in general is also showing a general downward slope and engagement right now.
We're looking into that, but I feel fairly confident saying that engagement has fallen in Australia since they turned off likes, that is in no way a surprise. You're going to be less likely to probably like something if you don't see that number out there, but I will say the Fall was so far, does not seem as steep as people might have guessed. Look, we've always been saying that this is not going to affect influencers at all, this is going to be great for influencers in general, and we tell our brands, every chance we get, that engagement is just not the right metric to be looking at when you are analyzing the success or the efficacy of an influencer.
Another thing I saw last night at Facebook was that-- Something we've been telling brands is that engagement is the wrong metric to be looking at to try and understand if something works. Last night, Facebook said the same thing. They had graphs showing that engagement has no correlation with a post being remembered and being effective, so engagement has absolutely no correlation with a post's efficacy. The only thing it affects is the algorithm and that post's ability to be seen by more people.
In that way, engagement is important but it is not important. Whether a single person likes a photo or doesn't like a photo but sees it has no bearing on how effective that post is in injecting that brand's story into that consumer's brain tissue. And even if tomorrow they turn off likes and engagement falls 30% across the board, it's not going to matter because it will fall 30% for everyone and so the algorithm will shift with it. It's not like if your engagement falls 30% everyone else's does. You're still at the same place relative to everybody else. I don't think it's going to really change much and I definitely think it's going to happen so we might as well get used to it.
- Impact of Hiding Likes, Best Influencer Qualities, Brand Harassment