When it comes to social media, a lot of influence happens which results in the sharing, liking and more done with posts. A lot of people get the spotlight because of the amount of likes and this spreads and the influence goes on. Recently it was noticed that some countries had an issue with one of the social media platforms, Instagram. It appears that people had been losing their likes and a lot of users were upset that they lost them. The truth is they didn’t lose the likes but it was rather hidden and has continued to be hidden by Instagram itself.
What Happened To The Likes
Instagram announced earlier allowed users to hide the amount of likes they had that were shown which was optional at first. After some time, they decided to have an experiment and went deeper by actually removing the like counts so that they could not be seen and so the amount of likes could be unknown. You could still see who liked your posts but couldn’t see how many people actually liked them. As of now it is reported that likes now completely do not show which has appeared to upset many of the users and caused a great impact on them.
Reasons For The Change
The hiding of likes was done to make it fair in the point of view for some since it would avoid “herding” when it comes to likes, following, sharing and more. Since a person with thousands of likes would be more popular due to the amount of people already following, there would be no spotlight to go around for other people. This way people would actually have to find the posts they are interested in instead of going with the crowd. This way accounts that had more likes and were considered popular would be at the same level with other accounts and it would be up to the people who they would be following instead of just following whoever was most popular. This way other users could have the attention and spotlight and it would depend on the other users what they preferred to like. As a brand and marketing specialist for international high net worth individuals, Tomaz Rodica says that if this trial is successful and engagement with Instagram doesn’t decrease in Australia as a result, it will likely be rolled out globally.
Being unable to see the amounts of likes will less likely cause people to follow whatever is trending or popular and instead stick to their interests. As a result of this it becomes hard to figure out who is more popular, who has newer content and more which makes things balanced in a way for the less experiences social media users and seemingly unfair for those who have spent a long time working on getting their likes and popularity.
Some people were very devastated and complained first thinking there was a problem that erased their likes but when they found out that likes would no longer be seen and were told that like counts were to be removed or to be hidden, they burst out in either tears or anger. Some people have spent years doing serious, helpful, hilarious or crazy things to gain popularity and this felt like a step backwards for them since they lost one of the things that gained them popularity. When it comes to social media, likes are important and a lot of users know that. This has created a great impact on many of the people with accounts both new and hold.
How Can People Determine Popularity Now
Since likes are not going to be shown, most of the checking will now be done in comments. This can be tricky though as there are a lot of comments here and there and it can be quite annoying having to go through a lot of comments and realising there is no confirmation about the account or posts popularity. Since there will be no more like, the popularity and impact of social media will need to be assessed in another way which seems to have become an issue now. Alana from Xpozur Social Media notes that social influencers who traditionally relied on likes as a metric to their overall popularity when selling their marketing space, will now have to find other ways to show the engagement rates. Some believe that API codes may allow a third party website to manage this – but Instagram would still need to permit the data to be scraped.
This was both a bold and unexpected move by Instagram by taking away what people had worked hard to get. It may have given other users a chance but it does take a toll on people who started early and dedicated time to get their likes. It is unsure whether this is permanent or temporarily but all we do know is that it is causing a lot of people to be upset. It may be hard for some to adjust but with little power in changing the minds of Instagram, people might just have to cope with it.