While there has been concern about how Instagram hiding likes would impact influencer campaigns, Chris Bower vice president of brand partnerships at Fullscreen, welcomes the change.
"Likes, followers and basic engagement can only take us so far, and the platforms are finally forcing us to look beyond the likes," he said.
"If you’re not pushing the limit behind the basics of evaluating engagements, sentiment, brand lift, and the likelihood to purchase, then your influencer campaign will be a waste of money," he added.
This could be due to either fraud or simply missing the mark in terms of audience engagement.
"We have to be able to take these measurement tools and use them to understand how organic and paid content from influencers is delivering bottom-line sales for our clients. We’ve been working with industry leaders to help pilot tests to correlate in-store sales with influencer engagements," said Bower.
One client, he said, wanted a well-known, loved creator in a campaign, and even though she had the right reach, engagement and tone, there was a catch.
"Despite being based in the U.S., her audience was mainly in the Philippines, Bhutan, and Nepal, where a number of clickbait farms are located, so this brought up questions immediately," he explained.
"Even if she was legitimate there was the question of whether she would be able to create content for this particular brand that would not seem foreign to her feed. They also wanted to see if she had promoted any competitors recently and if she could drive meaningful engagement with the target audience," added Bower.
As Bower explained, a holistic view of an influencer’s reach, audience and posting history is necessary for any successful campaign, meaning that the industry as a whole should not be relying solely on vanity metrics.