Sharing your posts through social media and receiving likes from your friends is a very common thing to do, but what if those numbers affect someone. Like button functions to give signs of approval of thoughts, photos, or videos. And people think numbers of likes are your validation in the online world and surprisingly a lot of us feel this way, and it causes a problem for our mental health. That’s why Instagram start to plan this concept to remove the like-button on the app.
Instead of removing the like-button entirely, Instagram has begun hiding likes last April 2019 as part of their experiment in some parts of the country like Canada and Italy, and by September Facebook also follows Instagram’s footsteps to hide the number of likes in only selected countries. But on November 15, 2019, Instagram’s new update has been officially announced that they’re going test to hide the like numbers and only us owner of the account will see the like numbers.
As of the moment Instagram and Facebook are doing an experiment on removing the like counts, but what are the aftermath of these experiments for influencers, brands, and business owners?
1. Low Engagement
Instagram and Facebook have been great platforms for brands and influencers for over years now because it’s one of the easy ways to interact with their audience. And for we know this is an experiment, but even before when it’s still a plan a lot of businesses are against it. Their point of being against it because it will lessen their interaction with their audiences online. The users/creators are also concerned that it might affect their reach for new audiences of their content, which so far only the like engagement has the problem.
2. Effectiveness of Brand Awareness
Since we know that like counts has become a validation point for everyone else, especially for businesses it will affect the growth of their platform. One of the reasons why like counts helps business because it is easy to be recognized by other potential customers and easy to gain trust. Some of the results from influencers that their platform is not working with Instagram’s algorithm because their engagement to their audiences have become fewer. From the very first start for business owners and influencers likes have become a motivation to create content where our audiences are interested in. This experiment really affects some of them that’s why Instagram is still in the process of thinking other ways that other creators can still engage.
3. Opinions are Divided
It’s really hard to tell right now if this plan is a good thing since Instagram is still collecting data of the results as this article will be published and they are currently in the process of making plans for the future of the platform, but right now we could say yes and no. Removing the like counts from Instagram and Facebook has impacted the engagement of the creators and as we discussed earlier this is a bad thing to half of the business owners and influencers combined. In some cases, this is a good thing because there are some accounts/users who buy their followers and if this experiment succeeded, they will be reduced.
Other brands/influencers don’t need to compete with likes if those fake accounts or followers-buyer will lessen. Another good thing about hiding the counts, it allows people to pose what they like to share without worrying too much about the numbers of likes. There are some sides of the opinion that they want the social platform to make an option hiding and unhiding the like counts.
This topic is really interesting and maybe life-changing for most of us who use the platform. As marketers, what we can do with this is just to adapt, especially if this will benefit most users. We can still look at the positive that these changes may bring because at the end of the day, these changes are after the betterment of humans mentally and socially.
How about you? Are you one of those who are against on removing or hiding the like-button? Or do you agree with the change? Or maybe you have a better idea on what Instagram and Facebook should handle this concern. Let us know and comment them down below.