6th October 2010, Instagram application came to the social media market. At first, people were sceptical. We had Facebook, we were happy, meeting new people, having Facebook chats and growing smooth relationships with strangers.
No one ever thought that Instagram will be a source of income to so many, we have had models getting endorsements, people selling their products and of course, people boosting their self-esteem from the number of likes they get from this app.
The importance of this app cannot be fully discussed in a single article. Instagram has served as the market for online marketers to fully display their goods.
The number one attraction for customers is the number of likes your page gets. The higher the number, the safer the customer feels to patronise. When the engagement via comments is on the high also, the fear of being scammed is 60% over.
What about people who have got modelling endorsements from the pictures they put up? The number of likes most often is proportional to the popularity of an individual on Instagram.
How will you know how popular that your favourite social media influencer is? Will social media influencing exist without Instagram and Twitter? I guess not! Apart from the number of followers, the number of likes and comments determine who PR agencies give their jobs to.
Let us not forget, followers can be bought; hence, the realness of followership is determined by the engagements social media influencers get.
However, Instagram managements think it is time to stop seeking validation from likes on Instagram. It is time those followers drop those heart-warming comments on your pictures. Let’s not forget, Facebook also did the same two months ago.
It is time they testify to the effectiveness of your products via comments, it is time people drop some “heys” and “hellos” in your comment section, it is time you get your followers to interact in you comment section. In summary, you cannot live for likes anymore; no one can see the number of likes on your pictures again.
Is this decision right? Will it take the means of livelihood of so many people? Will it make the application more interactive? Will it fix the issues of the self-esteem of some people? It is left for you to decide if it will affect you negatively or positively.
There are some people who left Instagram because the likes they get are very scanty, hence, this could decrease the level of self-esteem. Questions like am I not beautiful/handsome enough? Do I not appeal to my audience? had arisen based on the number of likes. Now, Instagram will feel less than a competition.
According to Facebook spokesperson when talking about their decision to hide facebook likes, “we are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” this shows the esteem problem in relations to likes is not only related to Instagram, it spreads across all social media platforms.
Instagram took off the like feature so people can focus more on the content that is being posted. It is not harmful to the marketers as focus will be placed more on what you have to offer and less on your acceptability via likes. It could be more advantageous if followers are encouraged to comment on posts to increase engagements.
As stated in TechCabal,
Hiding likes and comments may affect user behaviour but will more or less force influencer marketers to be more thorough and bullish about actual engagement from influencers as against reliance on vanity metrics to decide which ones should push what brand campaigns.
Instagram may make it more engaging if numbers of followers are hidden too. Other social media pages can also follow suit, this can make social media pages more interactive and less competitive.