Monday, 9 december 2019 | Brenda Rodríguez
With the emergence and popularization of social networking sites, some profiles started to stand out from the rest. The more these social platforms grew, the more influence these relevant users had. Their exceptional virtues were perseverance, communication skills and the management of the resources at their disposal. Their impact was so great that, over time, their activity ended up becoming professional. Marketing agencies identified great potential in them and ended up hiring them to advertise their products. And, how did these personalities prove their worth? One of their strongest assets was, and still is, the number of likes on their posts. Nevertheless, can the influencers' activity be reduced to just a matter of figures? What would happen if this number disappeared overnight? Instagram is creating the ideal scenario to answer this question.
Just a few months ago, one of influencers' favorite social platforms, Instagram, announced the disappearance of the number of likes on user accounts in several countries. With this decision, the social networking site intended to provide a solution to the negative impact that these interactions may have on users, especially on those who are younger. For years, psychologists have been warning of the possible harmful effects of "the like culture": ego hypertrophy, the loss of self-esteem, the FOMO disorder (fear of missing out), social anxiety, etc.
After the tests carried out in Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland and Canada, the trial now has reached the rest of the countries. What does this mean? Some users will stop seeing the total number of likes on other people's posts. On their profiles, they will only be able to see which users have liked their photos or videos, but will not have direct access to the total amount of likes.
Does this mean that there is no turning back? Instagram has not made a final decision on the permanent removal of likes visibility. However, the platform has positively valued the development of the initiative so far, and everything seems to indicate that the future of this social networking site will not be so focused on interaction through this button.
What about Instagram influencers?
Those who have received with greater concern the announcement of this change on Instagram are influencers, since they consider that this decision may have a significant decrease of likes on their posts. But should they be worried? To what extent could this test affect them?
One of the most negative effects that the removal of like counts may have is the reduction of their "calling effect" on posts. When users use social networking sites and see posts with many likes, they are attracted to them and more tempted to like them. Therefore, if this data disappears, that impulse might also do.
Social Media Today presents the results of a study carried out by HypeAuditor and points out that, although they are not definitive, they show that the change on Instagram could be affecting the general statistics of the influencers in the countries that have already implemented it.
In turn, some influencers recognize that if this data disappears, they may have more difficulty when assessing the interest of their audience and when it comes to creating content. Likes not only serve as elements of motivation for users, but also for influencers. On the other hand, this change might encourage greater interest in the quality of their posts. It is important to keep in mind that Instagram will continue valuing the same metrics in its algorithm. The difference is that now some of them will not be public.