Social media marketing has been the rage for many years now. Whenever you talk about internet or digital marketing, the next word that comes in the discussion is social media marketing. When you talk about social media marketing, the most important social signal is “likes”. Whenever you post something on social networks, you are waiting for others to like it. In addition to that, you look at the like count of posts and videos to know how good they will be, or bad for that matter. In addition to that, there are businesses who sell likes for various social networking platforms.
Instagram might have found a way to kill all of that rage. It is getting rid of a huge social signal and sending ripples across the internet universe.
Instagram Tests “No Like Count” Feature
In different parts of the world, the social networking giant has started to test a feature in which you cannot see the number of likes on a post. Yes, you will not know how many likes a post has received in any way. However, people who the posts and content belongs to are still able to see the number of likes on their posts. In place of the like count, you now have a line under the post that tells you who liked the post. It could be someone you and the original publisher of the post have in common. At the moment, Instagram users in Canada can see the new change actively in action.
Why Has Instagram Killed Like Counts?
No, it is not one of those moves where you don’t get a clear answer from the company. At least there is something for you to like about the Instagram officials i.e. they are giving you a clear answer on why they have killed this feature in some countries and why they wish to get rid of the like counts altogether. The answer lies in the response that Adam Mosseri, the chief of Instagram, gave in a TV interview lately. According to him, Instagram has a true intent of killing this feature to make the platform better. Yes, the faces behind the social network giant believe removing the like count will make the platform a better place for “everyone”.
The argument presented by the company is that social networks should be places where people interact with each other. It should be a place where people share their feelings, experiences, and incidents with each other. In a nutshell, it should be a place for people to connect. On the other hand, the like count puts people in a competitive mode. They are using the platform less for personal interactions and more to get likes. In the meantime, people who can’t get enough likes are feeling somewhat less important than those who have a lot of likes. Anyone who has used Instagram, or any other social networking platform latterly, will agree that the Instagram chief is right in his notion.
If you don’t know, such competitive nature of social networks directly impacts the well-being of its users. These are not hollow words. The reality is that a 2017 study did prove Instagram to be the worst place for the mental and physical health of the people. To make matters worse, another study conducted in UK proved the same i.e. young people compare themselves too much with whatever is posted on Instagram and make famous people on Instagram their benchmarks of living. The despair that comes when these young minds compare themselves to others can be lethal for the brain.
There is just too much data, too many studies, and a plenty of surveys that prove the culture on social networks is not friendly for young individuals. If you are an Instagram user, it should not surprise you to know that a lot of young individuals throw their posted content into trash when it does not get the number of expected likes. Deleting Instagram posts for the lack of likes is something almost every other youngster on Instagram has been through.
The Issue for Brands and Influencers
Killing this social signal is not going to be easy for Instagram. While the company has been bold in taking the step and testing it instantly, it will have to wait for some time before it can roll out the feature update around the world. You can’t ignore the fact that complete removal of this feature is going to put social media influencers and brands in a huge dilemma. For influencers, they will not be able to show the world they are influencers since likes on the posts are the most important and prominent indicator of someone’s fame.
When you talk about brands, they will have a hard time picking a true influencer. At the moment, brands have ways to know how good or bad an Instagram user is for them. If you claim to be a famous celebrity on Instagram but all you get on your posts is less than 10 likes, then the brand will not consider you an influencer. Not to mention, it requires a lot of hard work from you to be an influencer. These individuals might find unique ways to show their prospective clients why they qualify to promote their businesses. However, they cannot convince a brand to give them the order instantly based on the number of likes on the posts.
A feature that seems so simple has so much value in the social media. Businesses and Instagram celebrities are not going to welcome this decision from the social networking giant. However, they have to keep in mind that the company has done it for the convenience of others. Its wants the online world to provide safe and pleasing experience to the social network users. On the other hand, likes have been the biggest cause of competition among social network users. If things work well for Instagram, there are high chances that other social networks might also follow suit. What positive change this feature update from Instagram is going to cause will be clearer in a few months.