Likes or No Likes - the Instagram Question

August 23, 2019


When Instagram announced they would be running a test where they would "hide the total number of likes and video views for some people" in some countries, the feedback was mixed. I spoke with some of my friends, from around the globe, who lauded the decision. Their reasoning was varied but with many pointing to how many teens and even young children are feeling the pressure to post and will only feel validated when they get so many likes.
That reasoning and feedback seemed pretty straight-forward. Now, let's move onto Influencers.
The return on investment of social media marketing has often been debatable. There's one point-of-view that believes having a strong social media presence is imperative to growing a business or sustaining market share. One would argue, it's a sort of validation for the company where if others see how "popular" the brand is in social media, they'll follow. Of course, translating followers or even likes to sales has always been debatable.
Then there are the Influencers. When Instagram announced this test, there were some who were not that eager to lose the likes or views because it was a way to showcase their social media power or presence to brands or potential clients. Yet, one could argue that losing the likes and views wouldn't have that big of an impact on an established Influencer. Quite simply, this topic alone could take over this post. But, we move on.
Switching gears, here is an excerpt from an article in The Guardian. Here's why I'm interested to see if this test turns into a permanent feature. "Mahalia Handley, a model and activist for diversity in fashion with more than 42,000 followers on the platform, said that as she was a model long before beginning her Instagram account, the disappearance of the likes total has had little impact on her online life and she believes the company’s decision could increase users’ comfort with posting authentic material and displaying their creativity."

“'I’ve noticed a lot of friends saying they felt like they could now show who they are and I think that’s amazing,' Handley said."

“'I think having the likes taken away present the opportunity for people to be more unique and inventive, more personal and usher in more creativity in the fashion industry.'”
In fact, I did have a friend who echoed similar sentiments. Removing the pressure, allows some people - adults too and not just children or teens - the freedom of posting what they want. They aren't waiting to see how many likes they get before deciding to delete the post. Instead, they are putting out there what they want to put out there, hopefully not what they think others want them to put out there.
What do you think about removing the like and view counts from Instagram?
Until next time...
- Aimee

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