Have you ever gone to a school (or know someone who has) that had very specific uniforms? Particular button-down shirts paired with only-this-color pants? Schools did this primarily in an effort to remove the vanity associated with clothing choices. Well, Instagram may be giving us all uniforms.
Just like Facebook, Instagram (which is Facebook-owned) allows viewers to click 'like'. These 'likes' can give our posts character - just like how you dress gives you your own unique personality. Unfortunately, both can also be construed as a status symbol, increasing or decreasing an individual's reputation. Instagram doesn't want this.
They are currently testing out banning 'likes' in other markets, like Japan and Australia. This doesn't mean people can't 'like' what you posted - they certainly still can, and you can still 'like' others posts. It simply means others will not be able to see the count of how many have given your photo or video their virtual nod of approval.
According to the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, during his Keynote of F8 (Facebook's annual software developer conference): “We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about”.
The Instagram Gods don't like the idea of people feeling so much pressure to have perfect posts, and worrying too much about how to increase their publicly viewed "compliments". They want everyone to have the same, equal connection with their friends and family (and, sure, random followers too).
The ability for people to 'like' your Instagram photos can be wonderful. It's a quick way of saying, "I enjoy what you posted", and can help people not only improve photography skills, but learn what connects them best to their friends and family. It can teach you what you have in common with others, which in turn, is a key social ingredient.
To some, this isn't as important. But to others, they're really looking for this type of validation. And if Instagram implements this change all around, they'll still receive it. What they won't have is the feeling of competition. Or that bummed feeling they get when their beautiful sunset gets 1 like, and Karen's 1,987th picture of her cat gets 24 likes and 14 comments.
What Does This Mean For Social Influencers?
Social Influencers are those who have gained a reputation on social media. They are "Social media famous" - meaning, they may not be well known in the real world, but on social media, what they say and what they do is hugely noted by their many followers. They have the power of persuasion due to their knowledge, credibility, and/or simply their mass reach. Because of this ability to affect purchasing decisions, companies often reach out to influencers to "plug" their products.
If Instagram broadens this change and sticks with it, for one, it may be harder to become a Social Media Influencer. Companies will have to put a much larger focus on the quality of your content, rather than how many likes you receive on your posts.
Companies (and regular users) will still be able to see how many followers you have, but not how engaged they are - and the engagement is key when determining your influencer abilities - not the number. You may have 500,000 followers, but they could very well be fake profiles created in an effort to fluff their numbers (a common outcome if someone purchased followers). So the engagement is what shows companies that your followers are real humans that are actually interested in what you have to say.
According to CNBC, ..."marketing experts say the changes could also further incentivize brands to put paid media support behind their influencer posts, and also to focus on Instagram Stories, the video and photo posts that are only live on Instagram temporarily."
Social Media Changes
Changes like this happen almost regularly with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as other social media platforms. Features come and go, algorithms change, and current trends play a huge part in how effective the platforms are in enhancing your business strategy. Running a business is a lot of work on its own without worrying about what has changed in social media. Contact us to help!