I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram and here’s why…
I have been using the online creative platform for a looong time – like when the feed was in chronological order, and stories weren’t a thing.
But it’s changed. A LOT.
IGTV is now a thing (which I still haven’t used); I now use Instagram stories way more than Snapchat stories; the feed is no longer chronological (yes, I’m still bitter about this); and I now use the platform for more than a way to keep up with friends – it’s a vital business growth tool for many.
So how important are likes on Instagram?
In the grand scheme of things, not very important.
In comparison, the amount of likes we get is a small factor of our day.
But somehow they matter so much.
When I was using Instagram for purely personal use, I was in my teens and nearly everyone in my year group was using it. At that age, it seemed to be a popularity calculator – the amount of followers and likes you have was a determinant of how important you were in school (which for me, was not very much).
I wasn’t very popular in school or on social media but it wasn’t a huge problem for me. Thankfully, my mind wasn’t caught up in all this stuff. Yes, if my photo got over 10 likes, I was very pleased – but it didn’t take much for me to get over the fact that others were more popular on social media than me.
But that wasn’t the case for everyone. And nowadays, more and more young people are caring about their social media presence and popularity on certain platforms.
The new update
The rumours are true – ‘hidden likes’ might soon be a thing. Which means that users don’t immediately see how many likes someone else’s post has.
The update can help alleviate the pressure of social media. The amount of likes a post gets can be very important for some; and also encourages people to determine their worth based on their online popularity.
Not being able to compare the amount of likes you get compared to someone else might help with imposter syndrome – which many of us suffer from. If you don’t get as much likes as ‘Britney’, the high school prom queen, it doesn’t matter because no one knows how much likes you, or her gets.
I was worried about how this update would affect market research from a business perspective, but apparently businesses are still able to use certain features so I’m not entirely sure what the story is there.
How important are likes on Instagram for businesses?
From a business perspective, likes can be vital to determine what time is best for posting on social media, what to post, what not to post.
Since switching to a business account for my blog’s Instagram, I have found myself getting really caught up in the likes sometimes and it’s not healthy.
Likes don’t really bother me on my personal account because I just take a picture and upload it. But on my blog account, I take time planning the photo, editing it, writing a caption, finding hashtags, and for that post to not get as much likes as previous posts, or as much as other bloggers, it can be disheartening.
Why are we obsessed with getting likes?
The amount of likes we get on this amazing but frustrating platform determines our online worth.
Brands tend to only reach out to bloggers with a decent number of followers and moderate engagement.
The number of likes we get keeps us motivated to continue posting content online.
I go through phases of loving what I’m posting; and then the next month I’ll hate it and want to scrap it.
This is what happened with me and my blog recently and I wrote a post about why I’m saying NO to a niche right now.
How to care less
This section is going to be short and sweet because I don’t really have an answer.
I’ve felt cheated by Instagram recently because I’ll do all the things you’re meant to do, and get nothing in return. But whatcha gonna do?
Is the photo a good one? Did you spend time on it? Then let it sit there on your feed looking pretty.
It’s hard sometimes to still be in love with the online world and sometimes you want to break up with it; but it’s like that person you just can’t let go of. Am I really comparing social media to a lover? Yes, yes I am.
What’s your thoughts on the online world? Do you think hiding likes is a good idea?