Instagram’s decision of not showing the like count on the posts might not turn out to be a successful one. Recently rolled out in the accounts of some users in Canada as an experiment, which shows the number of likes only to the owner of the particular account – the update was introduced there to make it convenient for users to share content without any fear of judgment.
The pressure that arises to gain popularity and be more known among the others is kind of an academic pressure to gain marks, being compared to other students around. This pressure is the result of people getting more attention who get more likes on their pictures, videos, and content they have posted.
One of the main purposes for social media influencers apart from marketing, promoting, etc. on Instagram is to gain likes is that it turns as a status symbol and a characteristic feature to attract more sponsors. This also attracts more and more audience towards them. We can say that more the number of likes or comments on a post, the more attention of the viewers is brought onto the post and the account as well.
This judgment based on the number of likes or comments on any post has made the users feel that the app has lost its motive of just sharing fun-filled content, and is now more of a promotion platform. We can say that this platform has eventually tended to lose its true meaning.
In a media outlet that was published in May, Wavemaker chief content officer Karthik Nagarajan pointed out that the like option is “making platforms toxic and less fun.”
We wonder if this option will actually increase the fun of being on the app, or eventually lessen it up. Because the likes that we get on this app, somehow represent the amount of appreciation we deserve for our posts. The likes and comments on the app are ways of interacting with people with each other. Hence, the likes showing feature has changed the perspective of people to a lot of extents.
The reason why the famous social media users are so crazy for gathering as many likes as possible is that these likes act as monetary collections for the influencers, bloggers, and eminent personalities. The numbers of likes depict your amount of money which they get from the brands that these people are promoting. This is because the brand market decides your funding from the number of likes they gather by promoting their brands.
This case is similar in other social networking platforms, such as YouTube or Facebook, which lets the famous people make money through the number of likes, shares, comments, followers, and subscribers that they have in their names and on their posted content.
The likes also determine the satisfactory level of the users who wish to post content for their followers who admire them. And more the number of their likes, more is their self-realization that they are doing their job well-this act as a basic human need.
However, a case of a young couple who recently died falling off a waterfall edge in California while taking a selfie is one of the extreme cases that shows that people can cross bars to impress people.
This admiration, which initially acts as a self-satisfaction property, somehow creates a level that one has to maintain in the future. Eventually, every time a picture is posted, it is supposed to gain as many likes as the previous one, or probably more than that. What people want is to show off how much they are happy through the medium of posting picture and videos. It is like that if an image isn’t published, the moment actually did not happen. This has almost become like a mandatory aspect for people.
There are even some reports claims that people suffer from anxiety issues because of the pressure of social media. Think about it! Whenever you post new content, in terms of written content, photos, or videos, aren’t you always curious to find out who is liking your pictures time and again. This has become more of an addiction and a habit than just a time-pass thing.
People nowadays click pictures or capture videos which are actually “Instagrammable” and worthy enough to be shown to people on social media. Be it the beautiful sceneries, or tree, plants, even food, should be worth a post always.
What Instagram’s motive is to make people happier without having them think about the likes that they or the other people are receiving. The validation of fame, status symbol, or social approval, ratings, popularity gives us a feeling of properly acceptable for the job we are doing on social media. This validation is going to be taken away with the removal of the likes showing feature.
Another reason as to why this seems unjustified is that this update is rolling out only for Instagram and not any other social media platform, be it Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, which also has a lot of followers for various influencers. Although Instagram is flourishing in terms of its popularity, removing the likes count on its platform and making it visible onto the other platforms do not do justice at all. Somehow, Instagram should not make things so complicated.
This feature will also create problems for sponsors who find famous suitable sponsors for their brand promoting. Now they will have to figure out the right influencer based on other aspects such as a number of comments, followers, etc. and not on the number of likes that they receive on their posts.
Once this feature is removed, we will get to witness if these status symbol and popularity prediction features actually worked according to likes or would be considered in other ways as well. We have to wait and observe this later when this feature actually comes into consideration.