A review of recent changes on Instagram
Instagram likes as we know them are becoming history since this social network started hiding the number of likes to some users around the world. The test began in seven countries, first in Canada and subsequently in 6 more countries (Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand). From November 14. people in Serbia have the opportunity to see what Instagram looks like without likes. Initially, likes will not be hidden to all the users but only to a limited number in each country. However, at this rate, it seems as if no one in the future will be able to see Instagram likes on posts other than their creators.
The main goal of Instagram is to get users to stop ‘chasing’ their likes and teach them to appreciate and follow the right content, the one they love, the one which will be useful to them and which will make them feel more complete, and, consequently, increase their satisfaction with the application and Instagram.
“We want to become the safest place on the Internet,” said the head of Instagram Adam Moseri while announcing the new rules.
The race for a greater number of likes has been reaching worrying proportions for years, and various studies have proven that “failure” on social networks can have a detrimental effect on mental health, especially with young people. Studies have shown that receiving notifications via smartphones, such as likes seen by Instagram users, sends a chemical dopamine rush into the brain. This phenomenon creates social networking addiction and affects the brain in a similar way to gambling. Social networks are associated with increasing mental health disorders among young people. A 2017 study from the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK described Instagram as being the social media platform that has done the most harm to young people’s mental health.
This novelty will have a great impact on the marketing industry as a whole. Too many brands are still chasing likes and favoring statistics over producing meaningful content and developing genuine relationships with their customers. In order to adapt, brands should take a step back and rethink the exchange of value they offer to consumers. The more balanced this exchange, the more beneficial Instagram will be for achieving true business value for brands.
Brands have long courted us using “likes” as their sole means of identifying influence or measuring campaign success on social networks. Likes have always been among the most important statistics, including comments, sharing, followers, clicks, and lastly, conversion. Although losing likes can be frustrating, it doesn’t have to be catastrophic. Let’s look at this news as an opportunity. Hiding likes will actually force brands to look at the bigger picture and focus on creating quality content with paid support so we can track ROI and potential conversions better. Overall, it will become really obvious which agencies have the technology, strategy and expertise to succeed despite this change.