Instagram has announced they’ll be getting rid of likes. Here are the pros and cons of this decision you should know about.
If you’ve ever felt bad about how few like your latest Instagram post got, we may have some great news for you. After beginning to test removing likes from users’ feeds back in May, Instagram recently announced that they will officially remove likes from the public feed. Individual users will still be able to see their own like counts, but they’ll no longer be able to compare their likes numbers to those of friends or influencers.
Why would Instagram get rid of the most defining feature of their platform? And what does this change mean for individual users, influencers, and brands? Let’s take a deep dive and consider the pros and cons of getting rid of likes.
Why Instagram Wants to Remove Likes
Instagram makes an interesting case for removing likes from the public feed. According to CNN, Instagram hopes that taking this metric out of the public eye will direct users’ focus back to the content rather than how popular it is. A spokesperson told the network, “We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
Debate over the impact of social media on mental health may also be a contributing factor. Some believe that removing like counts will make Instagram users feel less insecure. However, others argue that with or without likes, our Instagram feeds can still make us feel bad about ourselves because they feature so many highly edited and idealized images.
Pros and Cons for Users
How will this change affect your personal Instagram account? You’ll still be able to see your own like counts, but you won’t be exposed to other people’s metrics in your feed. You still might feel bad if your selfie only gets two likes (and one is from your mom), but at least that information won’t be available for all your followers to see anymore.
Instagram hopes that this change will put a stop to our obsession with likes and lead to posting more authentic content. What would you share if you only wanted to be honest about your life rather than trying to rack up likes? There has also been some discussion on how removing likes could be a step in the right direction to cut down on Instagram addiction.
Pros and Cons for Businesses
Small businesses and digital marketing agencies might feel less optimistic about Instagram’s decision to remove likes. In today’s digital age, many businesses rely heavily on social media to spread the word about their products and services. Without public likes, it could be harder for businesses to use their Instagram accounts as a form of social proof that their products work or that their services can be trusted.
However, this change may also work in a business’s favor. For example, newer, less established brands won’t have to expend as much effort on growing a following and gaining likes. Instead, they can focus solely on growing genuine engagement. As always, using social media in business and in any area can be unpredictable, but genuine engagement has always been a great method for gaining traffic.
Additionally, many experts are calling this move by Instagram the death knell for influencer culture. Without a running tally of all their thousands of likes, an influencer’s account could begin to look a lot like anyone else’s. On the other hand, we all like to look up to someone, so there’s a good chance that many of the top influencers aren’t going anywhere.
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