You may have already heard the news that Instagram is talking about removing the likes and following numbers so that we won’t get to see how popular you are anymore. Instagram has already made the changes in Australia and my Mother stands firmly against it since now she can’t see how many likes my photos get and if her daughter is still popular.
It could reduce user engagement or push people to become more active in the comments section, forcing us to create “real & authentic” interactions like conversations between users. For influencers who have made their livelihood with their following, taking away their years of building and hard work would be a cruel fate. It might force them to shift platforms like Tik Tok (formally musical.ly) or Snapchat.
The theory is that Instagram is bad for self esteem especially in teenagers and this is a solution to cut down bullying and create a healthier environment for its users. I do empathize, some of my celebrity and influencer clients have a bullying issue. We make sure to remove and block them and in some extreme cases we report them. I’ve also had my fair share of rude comments on my photos too, but are we really going to shelter our society because of bullying? That may sound harsh, but insecurity and nasty people exist everywhere, we can be stronger than that. Instagram has a good “report” system and will delete or suspend an account for bullying.
There are a lot of other factors that can make us feel insecure. In the 90’s, my obsession with Vogue magazine which has probably warped my perception of what true beauty is, especially when I was a teen. I believed that you were only beautiful if you looked like Helena Christensen, Naomi Campbell or Christy Brinkly. Anything can make you insecure, from seeing a Vogue magazine cover or an overly retouched fashion spread of your favorite model.
From the marketing perspective, this will be a game changer. How will we gauge popularity? How will we determine an influencer from a regular, well-done page? My thought is there will be an “insiders cheat method” for agencies like mine to see what the true numbers are. It will make things more complicated, but like anything in this ever-changing landscape there will be a way around it and we will find a way to still make you look amazing and grow through your social media accounts.
Work Insta @bmcreativela