Recently, social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook have decided to test the removal of likes and make them private notifications. This has sparked a lot of conversation, with many people discussing the positive and negative effects this may have concerning engagement and influencers.
The test began with Instagram users in select countries, such as Australia and Japan, with Facebook following suit.
The main goals of the removal of likes is to depressurize social media and shift the focus to quality content rather than popular content.
A variety of influencers, artists and celebrities have spoken out about the removal of the most popular metric on these platforms. Even some, such as Nicki Minaj, threatened to stop using the app if the likes are removed.
The main concern with the removal of likes is that it will deter users from participating in vanity metrics.
Another concern is that this will have a negative impact on engagement for artists and influencers who rely on perks of the platform, since companies often look at the amount of likes an influencer’s content has to see how successful a campaign has been.
While the negative effects of removing likes can be obvious, they do not outweigh the positives.
Removing likes will allow social media users to focus their attention on posting quality and positivity content that makes them happy, rather than content for popularity competitions. This could decrease the mental health issues linked with the usage of social media.
The removal of likes can also “force” influencers to create attention-capturing content. In most cases, likes and attention metrics are not consistent with each other. A lot of people just like a post without knowing the content of the post.
Also, with the easiness of buying followers and likes in today’s world, it will lessen the need to do so. It will help people step up their creativity game, and hopefully truly capture the attention they need.
As an avid user of social media, this is a very welcoming change for me. I usually never post on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook because I get discouraged by the fact that my posts never get as much engagement as the next person’s post.
However, with this change, I have already decided that I will actually use those social media sites more than I have been.
I can see why influencers are worried about the likes being removed. Likes can be seen as a measurement of quality and success for them, and that is how they can get their attention from bigger companies.
Nevertheless, with the removal of likes, bigger companies can focus on the quality of influencers and artists and help them reach the success they need.
Overall, while the removal of likes definitely has its downsides, it is important to note that this change can welcome in so much more positivity and healthy social media usage among its users.
Hopefully, as Instagram and Facebook continue to test out the removal of likes, more and more people begin to realize the good such a change can do.
Written by Torrence Weaver, staff writer. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.