The Psychology Behind Instagram’s New “Like” Change

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Instagram is hiding your likes…and that’s a good thing

Instagram’s new like feature has become a hot topic in marketing circles.

When the photo-sharing app announced they’ll test an algorithm that hides the “likes” of a post, it sparked a serious discussion about social media and how they affect our lives.

See, we already know the “dark” side of overusing Instagram. People getting obsessed with numbers, brands creating posts for maximum engagement, etc.

Instagram’s update will certainly change the way we use it and most importantly the way we feel about it. The question is, how?

The popularity contest ends here!

What makes Instagram addictive is the dopamine rush we get for each new “like”. In order to get another “hit”, we post more pictures hoping to amass even more.

But what happens when we notice someone with more engagement? We start comparing ourselves to them, tying our self-worth to numbers on a screen.

When we won’t be able to see how many likes random people on Instagram get, we’ll stop making it a competition.

This will change what we post, why we post, and how we post.

Shifting focus to organic engagement

Instead of posting pictures we think will get enough “likes”, we’ll start posting what we actually want.

Things we find interesting, instead of generic photos crafted specifically to target our audience.

Instagram will become fun again. It’ll regain its original purpose; letting people share cool stuff, artistic and authentic posts.

Engagement will be organic. We’ll connect with people who genuinely like our page.

Instead of spending hours finding the best angles, the most flattering poses, we’ll put our true selves out there, without fear of judgment from a vanity metric. Our focus will be connecting with others.

What does this mean for brands?

It’ll become difficult for them to gauge which influencers will be a good fit.

(It has become clear that the engagement of the community is more important than the follower count)

Losing the ability to publicly see the “likes” of an influencer is a major change and it affects how brands will use Instagram going forward.

They’ll have to find more creative ways to assess engagement, focusing on metrics that actually move the needle.

On the other hand, influencers will have more freedom in what they post (and when they post it), focusing more on their content, thus taking a more authentic direction.

Our Verdict

The platform will certainly transform in the coming years, but there’s no way to know what it’ll look like for sure.

While it’ll take months (even years) before Instagram’s update becomes public for everyone, we feel that it’s going to be a positive change.

It’ll highlight the “social” in social media.

That said, if you own a brand or you’re an Instagram influencer, it’s important to start changing your strategy today.

P.S- What do you think of Instagram’s “like” change? Is it a positive or a negative thing? Comment below!