To Keep or Not to Keep?
It is no secret that likes tend to measure popularity, or engagement, on a wide range of platforms. Instagram seems to be the epicenter of the subject. With the intention to improve mental health, Instagram has decided to remove the display of likes from its platform.
They have began experimenting with new concept in seven countries: Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. During the course of the experiment, Instagram has gotten mixed feedback about the like-removal. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the removal of Instagram likes from seven countries and analyzes if removing them will be a global norm for the app.
The Beginning of Change
It seems like one particular Instagram group is not fond of the sudden change: influencers. During the Instagram trial of removing likes, influencers have reportedly been receiving less engagement, thought to be the cause of removing likes from their posts. Threatened by Instagram, they fear they will not be able to grow in the platform or keep up with their engagement. Although certain influencers do not agree with Instagram's new method, there are several celebrities like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato who have publicly spoken about the dangers of social media.
Furthermore, the potential disappearance of likes seems to affect another group: influencer marketers. This is likely because marketers consider the an influencer's engagement to be related to likes, leaving no option but for influencers to self-report their likes. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has previously admitted he would redesign twitter without likes if he could go back in time. Instagram may be paving a path for other platforms to follow.
No matter how you feel about the situation, the removal of Instagram likes will most likely be a new concept worldwide, affecting every country on a global scale. Although there is a call for speculation by several influencers, levels of engagement will still be able to be measured and analyzed. The every-day analysis done by marketing departments on influencers will determine if an absence of likes really affects engagement.
Is There Any Positive From This?
Although there are influencers who can't see the positives of this upcoming change, there are plenty of Instagram users, in the countries where the method is being tested, who have said this change is good.
Certain users have stated this change has lowered the social pressure of Instagram for them. This feedback is important because mental health is the reason why Instagram wants to evolve. As long as the overall, lasting impact of this change is less pressure on social media users, Instagram achieves their goal.
Likes or No Likes?
It seems that Instagram backs up their claims of mental health by relying studies done in the past to promote mental health and the pressures of social media. If the change is launched worldwide, Instagram may be responsible for starting a more healthy option for social media use.
Furthermore, it is not clear if the positives will outweigh the negatives at the end of Instagram's experimenting. A neat feature of this change is that the user will still be able to see how many likes their profile has.
Like most changes on major platforms, there will be users that agree and disagree with the update. However, Instagram will go through many changes in its lifetime. No one can tell Instagram's future or what reactions will follow their changes. Whether the result from this experimenting is successful or not, positive change should always be considered.
The Next Steps
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