What's a Life with no Instagram Likes?
Admit it. You “like-watch.” You can’t help it, though – likes have been a way to measure popularity and success. Likes help establish credibility when we see our friends double-tap a picture. It can even bring about a level of happiness once receiving a certain number of likes. And now, likes as we know it are about to be hidden on Instagram.
Good news, maybe, is that likes will disappear for “some” users. Bad news is, we have no idea how to tell who will be affected or not. If you’re not entirely on board with this change, keep in mind that it’s just a test. Likes may come back around, but it may not, so it’s best to keep your hopes nonexistent.
What's the Issue with Likes?
I like the idea behind Instagram’s Disappearing Likes Test, as I call it. As with the concerns of many other users, I think, as a society, we’ve become too defined by likes and followers. The result -- it's become detrimental to our mental health. The fewer likes you receive, the more likely you are to think something is wrong with you or your picture.
A study done by the Association for Psychological Science shows the effect social media likes have on a teenager’s brain. The study concludes people are more likely to engage with posts that have been liked by a large number of their peers – a follower's mentality. For some, a like is equivalent to a “high,” thanks to the chemical dopamine. Young people get on the social app looking for that feeling and sense of belonging.
See why I’m for likes disappearing? Young teens and adults get on Instagram and are continuously made aware that their lifestyle or looks are inadequate. There are Instagram accounts solely dedicated to helping you get more likes! Likes have become social wealth, and some people are killing themselves to afford it.
While I don’t think Instagram should be responsible for the mental health of its users, I do believe (as one of the largest social apps) it can be more aware of how the platform negatively affects its millions of users.
What’s a Business with No Likes?
For businesses, likes have been instrumental in building credibility amongst users. For celebrities and influencers, likes have kept the dollars rolling in through paid partnerships and advertising.
There have been some ideas floating around that Instagram wants in on the income made from influencers and celebrities. Celebs like Kim Kardashian reportedly makes $300,000 - $500,000 per post. (I'd want in on that too!) Some think IG may roll out a paid service platform for businesses. The idea is that if you run a business, you can spend that subscription fee for the platform, and you will have access to your likes. (And maybe more, I don’t know. This is just an unconfirmed theory.)
Some celebrities have already made it known that they feel strongly about the change. Nicki Minaj said that she would stop posting completely, while Kim Kardashian supports it and thinks it can be beneficial. Either way, like it or not – we will just have to wait to see if Instagram decides to remove likes permanently.