Instagram Hiding Likes Moves Caption Influencers Up Marketing Food Chain
In 2019, Instagram began a global movement from one valiant idea:
Curb toxic behavior on social media by hiding the number of Likes Instagram posts gather.
This symptom swept along all those users who were vulnerable to comparing themselves to others by looking at Like counters. Instead of enjoying themselves on the most visually appealing platform the Internet has ever given us, the obsession for vanity metrics crept in, anxiety mounted, often giving way to different forms of depression.
Never before in the history of social media have users been plunged so much deeper in the darkness, by a small, singular, seemingly insignificant feature update.
This metric, How Many Likes Did I Get, has been ubiquitous across all sharing platforms, past or present. Until Instagram decided to temper with tradition.
Whether this experiment is going to take effect or it will go down in history as a failed attempt to right online behavior is not important.
What I’m going to focus on here is the way social media creators and influencers are adapting themselves, consciously or not, to the looming threat of a complete and final farewell to Like Counters.
As with any abrupt changes, there were unforeseen implications along the way. What happened is that the attention shifted from the Like feature to another popular quantifier – number of comments.
So much so that social media influencers have switched gears on their strategies to focus exclusively on generating more comments.
This is how caption influencers have come to reach the pinnacle of their Instagram careers.
What Are Caption Influencers?
Caption influencers are those popular Instagram account owners who made it a habit to accompany their posts with long-form texts.
Whether they talk about a life experience, a memory from their past, insights about life or they give advice on a topic, these lengthy captions are meant to engage audiences at a deeper level.
But what did “caption influencers” do to receive a title of their own? Everybody can write on a topic from their own experience. Yet the controversial aspect rises from the unexpected turn of events. Instagram was never meant to naturally evolve into a blogging platform.
That’s because Instagram was created as a visual-first platform. Here users can find inspiration by scrolling down their feeds or tapping through Instagram Stories for aesthetically pleasing photography or videos. All this time, any kind of text was demoted as a secondary accessory. Yet caption influencers are about to step into the limelight.
In the Absence of Likes, Comments Take It All
Instagram has cast away only one type of metric. One closed door urged social media creators to adapt to the novelty and restore balance through other means.
The most popular solution turned out to be swapping Likes for Comments. There are only so many comments one can reply to pictures unless they are art curators or professional critiques.
On the other hand, in-depth captions are an invitation to open discussions especially when users can instantly relate to those stories.
On a platform where more and more users are searching for life-changing experiences, self-expression has become a powerful feature to own as an influencer.
Influencer Marketing Will Continue Ascending Organically
Nonetheless, there was little intel extracted from them. The purpose of Like counters serves only for the sake of comparison. Marketers couldn’t see past a basic graphic showing the worst and best performing visuals.
By collaborating with caption influencers, companies are winning something more durable than Likes: a story.
Creators who take their discourse seriously are introducing brands to a highly receptive public. That’s because influencers are warming up their followers with a story before even mentioning a product. Naturally, the brand becomes part of the story as a character that saves the day.
On top of that, storytelling encourages people to leave comments at any given time. Tapping into consumers’ minds and study their views on products is something marketers have been struggling with since the beginning of marketing. Caption influencers spark insightful conversation and give their followers a reason to commit to the brands they promote.
More Long-Form Captions to Come
In light of this unexpected chain reaction, brace yourself for a massive caption expansion in the new year. This trend is already modifying influencer marketing strategies as we know them.
With the withdrawal of the public display of likes, marketers and influencers alike reordered their priorities. One of the ramifications was an even greater concern for nourishing active and responsive communities on social media by encouraging more comments.
One way to grow a natural sense of community is through sharing. Once account owners start talking openly about topics just like they’re doing with friends, followers are usually getting in touch with them.
That being said, lengthy captions should be treated carefully. There are times when a photo speaks a thousand words and other times when visuals are in dire need of context. So start keeping caption influencers under close observation and be sure to deploy their storytelling skills at key moments!