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My Thoughts on Hiding “Likes”

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Another week, another controversy over Instagram making changes. It feels like they are constantly trying to switch things up on us just as we start feeling comfortable juggling the numerous outlets they have added to the app. Obviously, gone are the days of just posting a photo to Instagram, replying to some comments, and calling it a day. Now we have photos to post, DMs to answer, Stories to share, IGTV segments to film (& edit), Highlights to maintain, Lives to host (& cringing at the weirdos who show up), all while trying to figure out the damn “algorithm.”

Look, I’ve always had the same opinions about the so-called algorithm. Don’t blame Instagram for the dip in engagement on your content. It’s most likely YOU, not them. If your content is repetitive your audience is going to get bored. If your content is not relatable, people will eventually become disenchanted following an unrealistic and unobtainable lifestyle. It makes you feel bad and a constant reminder that someone else seems to have it all with little to no effort at all.

Obviously by now we all know Instagram is 99% a highlight reel–it’s curated, edited, filtered. If you can find someone who keeps it real and shows you the shit with the fabulous, that to me is more captivating and interesting. Not to get off topic here, but I did post my social media pet peeves for a reason. I no longer want to see “bloggers” traveling to #PFW (Paris Fashion Week) with 45 suitcases at LAX. First of all, how much did you just pay in extra bag fees?? WTF. No thanks. Show me your personality–are you funny? Is your house cute? What does your voice sound like? I’m losing interest by the second these days so if you have nothing going on… Thank U, Next.

OKAY. So the hiding of the Likes. What do I think? Honestly, I don’t care. To me I’m not on Instagram as a popularity contest. I have always loved taking photos and sharing them (I am OG and had a Live Journal, which is like IG / blogging of the early 2000’s), so my creative process will remain the same. Am I concerned for brands wanting to work with me? Not really. Apparently you will still be able to share Like insights, so really that eliminates that problem. I imagine to some influencers with a large following but not so great engagement, this hiding of Likes might be a good thing. Low engagement is a turn off to brands so not seeing the Likes (if it’s a low number of Likes compared to the # of followers) might work to their benefit if the brand doesn’t request to see the insights.

What I do foresee happening is this: people will no longer feel the need to hit Like if it’s not visible. Not sure if it’s a mental thing or what, but I just have a feeling everyone will see a dip in Like engagement. I think people will complain and raise hell and eventually Instagram will just need to put everything back. But I could be totally wrong. What if hiding the Likes will make people who follow but don’t Like become more active? I have approx 250K followers and a well performing photo for me will garner around 12,000 Likes and 100 comments (4.84% engagement). So where are the other 238,000 people at?!?

Who knows…it could shift things in a positive direction, or it could damage the business of Instagram. I guess we shall see. The one thing I DO know, though, is hiding the Likes is definitely a good idea for our youth. I can’t even imagine being a young impressionable girl in high school with Instagram. Kids are already dealing with self esteem issues during that stage of life that social media popularity is the last thing anyone needs. This is definitely an entirely different conversation so I will stop here, but ultimately I keep my mind open to these changes and know that we will all find a way to adapt and make it work. 

What do you guys think? Are you pro or con the possible hiding of Likes? Share with me below.

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