Instagram May Do Away With The ‘Like’ Button And Influencers Are Not Having It
Instagram is all about the likes. Why else would you post photos of your food or your day at the beach or your trip to Chernobyl? You want to get people to like your photo, and therefore, like you. Your entire existence is validated and you feel like you deserve to take up some space in this world if someone likes a cute photo you took of your new romper that you slapped the Valencia filter over. Those likes are important, because people aren’t just liking you’re photo. They’re liking you as a human being. When you do it for the gram, you’re really doing it for your self esteem.
So if Instagram removes the like button, what are you going to do with your life? How are you going to know if people care about you, or if they think you should go live in a cave? It’s just not fair.
Do You Like Me?
Instagram is all about the likes. You post content to see who likes it and how much attention you get from it.
And if you’re an influencer, those likes can translate into money. Yes, there are people who make their livings based off of how many people like their Instagram photos.
It sounds like a pretty sweet gig because it doesn’t seem like it involves any real work at all. But some people who do it are facing challenges.
For The Gram
Instagram is thinking about getting rid of likes on the social media platform all together.
People can still like your photo, but only you will be able to see who likes your photo and how many people like your photo.
And Instagram says they have a really good reason for wanting to do this. Right now, social media is kind of a weird place. Instagram wants people to concentrate on their posts, not on the validation they get.
Social media is kind of a toxic place, and many people worry about how social media is making people feel about themselves.
Instagram thinks that getting rid of being able to see other people’s likes will reduce some of the pressure associated with social media.
And because of that Instagram will be a slightly healthier place to post filtered photos of your cat or photos of your b*tt. Say “bye, bye” to the toxic environment in social media.
Instagram has already begun testing out the whole no visible likes thing in certain countries.
Some users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand aren’t able to see the number of likes that their friends’ posts are getting.
The company said that they were, ““looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram.” Again, you can still see who likes your stuff, but not who likes everyone else’s
Not everyone who tried it, liked it. The test were met with mixed reactions. And yes, a lot of people hated it.
A lot of people said that “no one wanted this.” “Literally no one asked for this! Get rid of it and put our posts back into chronological order,” wrote one person on Twitter.
You can’t please everyone, especially if you’re giving them something that they don’t want to and didn’t ask for in the first place.
The Biggest Loser
But Instagram influencers might have taken the hardest hit during the testing of the new feature.
Some influencers in Australia have lost thousands of followers because of the changes. The amount of followers an influencer has can impact the amount of money that they make per post.
So the influencers aren’t just losing followers, they’re also losing money, which means that they could also potentially lose their livelihoods. Not all changes are good changes for some people.
Sorry, Not Sorry
But some people couldn’t care less that Instagram influencers are hemorrhaging followers because of the changes.
Some Instagram influencers in Australia have been told to “go get jobs in the real world.” Um, excuse us? The last time we checked, selling weight loss shakes and diet teas on social media was a real job.
But then again, we checked literally just now, so that’s where that comes from. Technically, the influencers are in advertising. It’s just non-traditional.
Get A Job
Instagram might have removed the likes to make people feel better about themselves, but that clearly isn’t happening for Instagram influencers.
Many people are open about their dislike for influencers in the wake of the changes.
“I’d be devastated too if I found a job that I had to do basically nothing and then had to now work for it,” wrote one person, criticizing Instagram influencers for their perceived laziness. As if throwing up a photo doesn’t count as a job.
Thanks But No Thanks
Another person said that they like the new changes on Instagram, but not because it boosts their self-esteem.
They like it because it’s making Instagram influencers take a hit in a major way. “Thank God Instagram found a way to rein in this freeloading lifestyle these influencers live,” wrote one person.
Sure, it wasn’t what Instagram was going for when they made the change, but it is a side effect of the changes, one that some people like.
But there are actually some Instagram influencers who don’t mind the changes that Instagram made to the like system.
Marie Fe and her boyfriend Jake Snow are two Australian influencers who travel the world taking beautiful photos.
And they’re totally welcoming of the fact that Instagram wants to get rid of the likes for good. In fact, they’re totally okay with the fact that people are talking about whether or not being an influencer is a mindless profession.
Like It Or Not
Jake and Marie are totally right there with Instagram in thinking that removing likes would create a healthier social media environment.
The couple thinks that not being able to see other people’s likes would get rid of some of the unhealthy competition that has been going on.
On top of that, people would stop obsessing over whether or not their post is doing better than somebody else’s post. They would just be able to chill about the whole thing.
Don't Like It
Marie and Jake totally see where some of the Instagram influencers who don’t like the no like system are coming from.
“We can understand how some people would see the ‘no like system’ as somewhat demotivating,” Marie told FEMAIL.
“The amount of engagement you get (likes, views, comments) is the main metric that publicizes how much influence a person/brand really has.” The number of likes is kind of a big deal for most influencers.
Happy And Healthy
But Jake and Marie are into the bigger picture. They’re not just doing it for the Gram.
“In our opinion, as people who make a living from social media, we believe this move will be really healthy for society,” says Marie.
Talk about taking one for the team. Marie is totally okay with not having other people able to see how many likes their stuff is getting if it means that they’ll be happier people and we love that.
It's A Living
Jake and Marie are totally aware of how Instagram getting rid of likes is going to impact their business.
“As business owners, if we can still see our own like counts, we can still gauge how well our content is being received and adjust accordingly to provide value and keep our audience engaged,” says Marie.
“It doesn’t matter who else can see our likes it only matters that we can.” Marie knows what’s important when it comes to Instagram.
Like This And That
Jake and Marie aren’t immune to the whole “competition” aspect of Instagram just because they’re influencers.
“We have always seen Instagram as a tool to reach people to share our message, our art and our work,” Jake said.
“But there are definitely times we find ourselves playing the comparison game. The comparison game is something we all get caught up in from time to time and it has been going on long before Instagram was invented.”
Is This Real Life?
And Jake and Marie are totally aware that Instagram isn’t the real world. It’s a world where their lives are cultivated.
“But Instagram has become the perfect filtered, highlight reel of our lives and what’s become really unhealthy; people are comparing their normal lives with other people’s perfect filtered Instagram lives,” says Jake.
Honestly, they’ve got a pretty great highlight real. Even if you take away the likes, we’re still pretty jealous of the way they live.
Caring Is Sharing
Jake and Marie might be the few influencers who welcome the changes to Instagram, and they think they know how it’s going to play out.
Jake and Marie think that removing the likes on Instagram is going to make people post about what they really care about more, and not what’s going to get them a lot of likes.
But what if someone genuinely cares about the weight loss tea that they’ve been paid to sell? Will they still post that?
Wait And See
The whole “no likes” thing has been tested in only seven countries. We’ll see if Instagram decides to roll it out to the rest of the world.
And if Instagram does decide to go with the new feature, it’ll be interesting to see what the fallout is.
Will Instagram influencers have to go door to door selling the slightly toxic weight loss tea that they’ve been peddling over Instagram? Probably not, but that certainly would be interesting.
Instagram seems to be working hard to make their app a healthier and safer place for people.
Instagram is also testing out anti-bullying features, specifically meant to protect it’s younger users who are getting harassed online.
The Restrict feature will be able to limit the interactions a bully has with someone without letting the bully know that they’ve been flagged. Additionally, no one else will be able to see the mean comments a bully leaves on someone’s account.
Social media is a very interesting thing. We’ve been able to see the way it has influenced our lives and how we feel in the past decade or so.
Some things have been positive, and some things have been not very positive at all.
It’s great that Instagram is trying to change it so that the Instagram experience is more positive than not. Any changes in that direction are good changes in our book. That’s something we like.