There has been an internal argument among the instagram community about whether the company’s experiment to end the “like” counter is a good idea. I’d like to offer some perspective on the pro’s and con’s of the situation.
The Wall St. Journal writes that this trial testing began in Canada and has expanded to numerous other countries including Sweden, Japan and Australia. This may be a big change for most instagram users.
A common misconception about the change is that it will remove your ability to “like” a post completely. This isn’t true, you will still be able to like other people’s posts however, you will not be able to see how many other people have liked it as well.
Some say that this is a small vanity metric change that really isn’t a good enough solution for the mental health problems social media is causing. They argue that this only puts a band-aid on the actual problem.
This is what a new instagram post would look like:
A major concern has been how this will effect marketing and your ability to thrive as a business. Most major influencers like Carlos Gil and even Gary Vee argue that this should not effect a well thought out, creative and authentic marketing campaign.
I would like to go as far as to say it would benefit those who are already doing well on social media. Why?
There is a human condition called “FOMO” by millenials. Where we do something simply because we have a “Fear of Missing Out”. This is what a lot of popular posts are like on instagram.
We follow, like and comment because we don’t want to miss out, not necessarily because we genuinely enjoy or are entertained by the content.
A hidden like counter will remove that from the equation, making users engage on one basic instinct…”Do I enjoy this or not?” In my opinion, this will help up and coming influencers who are genuinely talented to gain even more traction, and it will help companies sponsor influencers not based on vanity metrics but based on the quality of their content.
What do you think? Should Instagram remove the “likes” counter? Or should we keep things as they are?