Instagram Removing Vanity Likes

The Dawn Of A New Instagram Era

This week we start a new series that we’re crazy excited about! As an agency, we like to stay up to date with all types of technology, trends, and creative minds that can influence our industry and our work experience. We want to use this outlet to tackle new concepts, review innovative strides, and gain insight on what our followers (you all!) are interested in learning more about!

With that being said, we are going to spend this week doing a deep dive into a new concept that is being introduced to Instagram that will change today’s philosophy of how we post, what we post, and who we are reaching out to connect to. We are so excited to discuss this new installation with you guys because it’s a hot topic at the moment in our community and we think it’ll be very beneficial to our society.

So let us start from the beginning! There’s an annual developer conference called F8, that spotlights our global community, the latest technology from Facebook’s family of apps, and the future we all are building together. The F8 conference is for developers and entrepreneurs who are looking to learn about how to build social applications, as well as learn about new and existing products and technologies. At this conference, Mark Zuckerburg expressed the need to shift the DNA of the Facebook platform from being connected to building a platform that focuses on privacy, “privacy give us the freedom to be ourselves.”

Here’s a clip from F8 2019 with keynotes from the conference:

A representative at Instagram announced a new testing series that will be implemented throughout the rest of the year. This series comes from a re-branding shift of ‘re-thinking the fundamentals’ of the platform. The goal is to make Instagram users feel safe and supported. They aspire to, in time, lead the fight against online bullying, as this is a key topic for all the apps that will affect generations to come.

The importance of removing vanity likes is to change the conversation. Instagram stated their desire to have “your followers … focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.” This comes from years of backlash of encouraging a highlight reel and the idea of a fake reality. Now you’re probably thinking, “Why is this a conversation for us?”

When speculation first arose of Instagram removing vanity likes, this insinuated a bit of a problem both for brands doing advertising through the apps and influencers being properly compensated for their work. Not too long ago and even to this day, likes are considered a metric used to gauge someone’s audience reach. Brands pay influencers for their ability to connect with their audience and create engaging content.

What Instagram is hoping that removing likes will do, is to encourage users to post what they like, not what will get a ton of likes. The updated Instagram would allow only the person who posted, to view the like count on said post. Brands can no longer use this metic as a tool for negotiations, as they no longer have a visual of how well a post does (unless requested from the influencer). This muddles the water of how to track true engagement and continue the uncertainty of which influencers have purchased their following or faked their impressions. Instagram’s goal is a hope for creating a safer outlet for the next generation of users. Influencers and creators of all types can revert back to creating content that ignites conversation and positive thoughts instead of feeling pressured to create content similar to what is statistically doing well for others.

Influencers and creators from all over are weighing in on this hot topic. In fact, we have yet to see a comment that has completely shot down this idea of ‘removing likes’. Jill Lansky of @theaugustdiaries stated for Global News, “As long as you can see your analytics, I don’t see how (hiding ‘likes’) would affect business opportunities. I think the hope is that people now ‘like’ content for what it is and not for any analytical reason. And I can’t see Instagram taking away analytics because so many people rely on it for business.” Haley Nahman, Deputy Editor from ManRepeller stated in a similar article, “This is why I’m a huge fan of getting rid of likes. Have you ever noticed how much more fun it is to post on stories? The removal of pressure — from permanence, sure, but also from having to see how many people approve of you numerically — is so freeing.” At the moment, no large brand has commented on the effect of removing vanity likes from this popular app. It seems that the positive notion Instagram is hoping to push with this series of testing is well received from the users on Instagram.

We for one, are absolutely here for this new update! We believe this will alleviate peer pressure on what is to be posted to solely receive a large amount of likes and instead promote the unique creation process each of us take when creating new content! We’re so excited to further explore the topic this week and can’t wait to see how Instagram continues to grow! Although we aren’t a fan of some of their past updates, we can’t wait to see the positive effects of this particular one. What are your thoughts on this new update, Dolls? We can’t wait to hear what you think!