Instagram Likes, and their public tallying, have become the heart of Instagram and many other social media platforms.
Earlier this year, Instagram started hiding likes in the United States in a bid to make Instagram feel less ‘like a competition’ where users compete to see how many likes they can rack up. With plans to trial the removal of like counts worldwide in the coming months, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has commented that this is a key part of Instagram’s mission to become a safer place on the internet.
However, likes will not be disappearing altogether; they’ll only be hidden to followers. This means that for businesses and content creators, their accounts will still give them detailed metrics showing the total likes per post. The result of this being that followers and general consumers will no longer be able to judge the success of a social post simply by looking at its existing popularity. With comments now acting alone as social proof, brands and influencers will need to work harder at creating content that the community is going to engage with.
Since followers and general consumers will no longer able to judge the success of a social post simply by looking at its existing popularity, this change could offer up genuine connections between a brand and their consumer via their content.
Also announced this month, Instagram will now suggest who you should unfollow by showing you who you interact with least frequently. This new ‘Suggested Unfollow Feature’ will allow you to better tailor your following to your choosing.
People reviewing the accounts they follow and weeding out the accounts that they no longer engage with could have huge repercussions for content creators. Influencers and brands, for example, may see a large dip in followers while people play with this new feature and cull the accounts that they don’t really interact with.
Instagram have commented to say that they want to “make it easier to manage the accounts you follow so that they best represent your current connections and interests”. Brands, therefore, will need to increase the density of high-quality, engagement-driven posts to stay relevant.
For content creators, brand loyalty may start to prove more important than ever as users start to “clean up” their feeds. For consumers, what’s not to ‘Like’?