Instagram hiding likes has been mentioned multiple times from the head of IG, Adam Mosseri. But, will it really happen? And is it something that would or could make a difference to those using the platform? And who would all be affected? Adam Mosseri told Buzzfeed, “The test wasn’t about incentivizing specific behavior, but about creating a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves – and focus less on like counts”. He goes on to say that the inspiration for the test came from Instagram’s Stories feature (where the user can see metrics but others cannot). In all honesty, I find myself posting more on stories than on my actual feed. And now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure it’s because I don’t want to stress about a post going over well or not… Damn – that was sad to say out loud! I guess Instagram truly has impacted (or should I say swayed) my views on personal self worth.
The beta test has since been launched in Canada (of course it was), the friendliest country to test this on (and one that won’t torch IG’s Headquarters in retaliation of influencers losing money from the feature being removed). How would influencers lose money you may ask? Well, there’s this thing that marketers and social strategists use called metrics. And these metrics showcase the engagement rate, the likes, follows, reach, impressions, etc. of an influencer’s platform. Based off these metrics, brands will pay a certain amount to have influencers post for them. In some cases, influencers can make up to 150k a post. I know, I’m in wrong business too.
In a world where a blue checkmark resembles a status symbol, and likes measure your success, are we prepared to go back to posting authentic content? Are any of us still familiar with this concept? (lol). In all honesty, I think it’s a great idea. Now, this isn’t coming from a jealous I-don’t-have-a-million-follows attitude, I simply think it’s a great idea for the well being of society. The intense negative impact that social media has on people has gotten way out of hand. Even Kanye West had thoughts on this regarding Twitter’s platform and using metric free social media; his words.
At the end of the day, if this feature gets successfully implemented, it’ll empower us everyday users – but will harshly impacted those that survive off showcasing popularity (meaning both influencers and brands). But at the end of the day, social media was suppose to help people connect, not put us in constant competition with one another. I also touched on this topic of competition in terms of FaceTune and PhotoShop, here, to the point no one looks like themselves anymore. So, bring it on! Instagram hiding likes might be one of the greatest changes for the platform. Let’s get rid of social validation, and focus on bettering the mental health of the world.