HIDING LIKES, DO IT INSTAGRAM
Last week I read somewhere that instagram is FINALLY testing out a new feature in Canada, to see the effects of what would happen if they decide to hide “likes” in the feed, permalink pages and on profiles. As someone who believes in organic growth and hoping to create content my audience will find interesting, and creative ( and who also never hacked the mysterious ig algorithm” I love this idea, because I think instagram should be about content and not a jr high school popularity contest. I see friends and family stress over how many likes they're getting on Instagram , spending hours deciding on wether to post something or not rather than enjoying something thats supposed to be fun and help connect with people they care about ( and hopefully know).
I am also intrigued and excited about the impact this will have on annoying “ influencers” because I’ve been saying for a while influencers have become big time irrelevant ( many of them, not all) with their constant bombarding of sponsored ads and fake lives contributing so much to the depression of a lot of users. Personally, I believe this is a step in a more authentic direction, where brands have to value other more genuine metrics, ( no more bought followers). Likes have always been a false currency and created a false sense of engagement, given the number of bots and services that exist to send fake likes to posts.
Bad for influencers- Yeay!
Good for well being- Yeay!
For the many who depend so much on how many “ likes” they get, the good news is you still can, as you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts,” explained Mark Zuckerberg. “You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see [the list], and if you have the time you can add them all up yourself.” So yes, you will still be able to see how many likes you’re getting on posts, even if your followers can’t.
Many studies have proved the negative effects social media is having particularly on the mental health of its youngest users,. As a result Zuckerberg stated “We want people to be less interested in how many likes a post gets, and focus more on connecting with other people.” This change gives people the liberty to curate their profiles the way they want them to look as opposed to the way they feel will get the most likes,”
Testers currently using this version of the platform are saying “ I’ve stopped comparing myself to bigger accounts. I’ve also been more personal with the things I actually like versus what everyone else is liking. This feels like more of what Instagram should be rather than an advertisement of ourselves on our page.”
What about those who use the platform to post selfies daily or up to several times a day who unfortunately form their sense of self-worth from the amount of likes they get which has been compared to “ digital cocaine” ? IG is worried that if the user experience doesn’t include this rush of dopamine addiction, log ons will eventually take a hit. Kamiu Lee, CEO of influencer marketing platform Activate says “ In the long term, the industry will figure it out. It will just shift attention to some of these other things."
At the end of the day, as much as I love this tool to share what I believe to be really interesting content, this discussion definitely makes you take a step back and reflect on how to make social media work best for you. So go for it Instagram, hide them likes !
Art Benjamin Isidore “ Artificielle”