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Is this the real reason Instagram is hiding like counts?

Won’t somebody please spare a thought for ‘self-made’ billionaire Kylie Jenner?

Instagram is testing a new Brands Collab Manager, allowing a select few US influencers to play around with the new tool.

If it goes mainstream, it means the company will have a much more active role in matchmaking influencers with brands – which could be the real reason they’re hiding ‘likes’ away from the rest of the world.

Back in November, we were forewarned that Instagram was about to start hiding likes from users. At the time, the move was pitched as something that would ‘depressurize’ the online environment and promote a safer environment.

Related: Reality TV ‘influencers’ agree to plug cyanide diet drink on Instagram

But a lot of people pointed out this could negatively impact influencers who rely on those likes for their income. Won’t somebody please spare a thought for ‘self-made’ billionaire Kylie Jenner?

Enter this new analytics tool. Facebook claim that it provides a perfect solution, allowing brands to search for influencers who match with their marketing goals, and providing in-depth data on collaborative posts.

Presumably, this is going to be the main way for advertisers to check they’re getting a good return for their money after investing in ‘creators.’ After all, they can’t check on the old like count anymore.

While this isn’t going to drive money directly to Facebook, it does give it greater control over commercial content. The company’s incentive here could well be quality control, or Facebook could have plans to take a bigger financial bite out of the ever-growing influencer market. This new tool would certainly make that easier in the future.

In addition to announcing the news about the Brand Collab Manager, Facebook also outlined plans to crackdown on Instagram posts promoting vaping, tobacco and weapons, which are already banned on the site. It also plans to get stricter on branded content promoting alcohol and dietary supplements.

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