With digital marketing being an ever-changing frontier, change management is one of the most important disciplines in this field. Instagram’s imminent removal of their infamous “like” feature means that this Facebook-owned company needs to adopt some enterprise change management tactics in order to lessen the blow that change inevitably brings.
Scientifically speaking, there is only one true constant in this world, and that is change – although that doesn’t make humans like it any more. That is why change management is so critical in terms of guiding teams and communities through change effectively and with minimal impact to productivity. This kind of guidance is especially important in big initiatives that shift the overall landscape of a platform as big and influential as Instagram. “Double-tapping,” or “liking,” photos has defined the entire social media app, and is now on its way out. Not only is change management critical for those working on the back end of Instagram, but also for companies who depend on this platform for their own revenue purposes.
While the removal of this method of quantifying how likable a photo is may be detrimental to content creators, or influencers, who make tens of thousands of dollars with their “likes,” it may be beneficial to companies who employ these people to promote their brands. While brand ambassadors have adopted the practice of charging based on how many people double-tap their photos, they’ll now have to establish rates based on other metrics. Companies who use influencer marketing may find this platform change advantageous – they’ve pivoted to looking at engagement, a metric that more accurately reflects an influencer’s audience’s profitably. This can be measured by looking at comments and more qualitative aspects of a user’s profile, as well as the number of views on their IG stories.
Despite the possible positive effects this change could pose on what have been deemed psychological drawbacks of Instagram, any change this big could put the company at risk for losing traction with its users. Some Instagrammers show concern for a lack of comradery that thousands of likes on something like a meme might produce. Because of the potential negative feedback surrounding this modification, change management is important to minimize setbacks and make the transition as smooth as possible.