What would a World without IG “Likes” be like?
August 07, 2020Isabella Georgia Ioannou
Instagram is a social media platform that has traditionally traded in likes. Balancing the needs of artists, brands, and the average user is difficult however cyber safety comes first. It is apparent that a large amount of today’s current population highly depends on Instagram “likes”. This has been evident not only in businesses and brands however also in regular users’ daily lives.
The IG Effect
To begin with, users have focused on likes, comments, mentions and followers on Instagram as a method of measuring their popularity or brand recognition or even self-esteem for some regular users. It is apparent that this “obsession” or “addiction” has had a significant negative impact on their mental health.
Unfortunately, many young Instagram users have mentioned that the platform brings on feelings of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, isolation or also the need to compare. It is understandable that in todays current era, social media Instagram users are comparing themselves to large brands and influencers and are feeling the need to compete. For example, exposure to thin bodies from influencers with thousands and millions of likes on their photos has had a negative effect on body and weight dissatisfaction as well as eating behavior.
The IG Solution
This has been a serious and worrisome issue for Instagram and a potential solution for “hidden likes” has been considered. The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri considered that hiding likes could be a step taken by Instagram in order to increase the safety of users experience within the platform. Although, this may be a big step closer to end negative mental issues it would also protect influencers who are judged and followed by a large number of users on daily bases.
Even though likes could be potentially hidden from the public view, users will be able to see the amount of the likes they have received making sure that this change won’t affect measurement tools for businesses and creators.
According to Adam Mosseri, “The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.”
It is apparent that many people are questioning how will this potential step affect Instagram influencers and businesses. In regards to mental health and a safer method of communicating online, this could be a very positive potential change. Instagram stories do not have public metrics however, are extremely successful for increasing popularity with regular users, brands and influencers. Therefore, this could possibly allow users to focus on their content creation and creativity rather than numbers.
Although, this could have a potential difficulty for brands collaborating with influencers it could also end the stigma of negative psychological experiences and dependence as well as help brands aim for reach and engagement rather than numbers (likes). Brands could begin focusing on creating customer loyalty and partnerships with influences aiming for on-brand content and authentic relationships with followers.
Overall, this potential step of “hidden likes” reflects to making Instagram a safer and healthier social media platform for people to spend time and communicate between each other as well as mental health comes first. Business, brands and influencers could consider focusing on their action metrics and quality of content rather than vanity metrices such as likes. Although Instagram is a popular, well-known and exciting platform in many users lives it is important that anyone online feels safe and comfortable. Instagram stands against online bullying and this is one of their policies. They are committed to protect every user from bullying and have adapted features and tools in order to make sure you are safe.