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An Instagram world with no likes — say what? Recently, Instagram has made strides and led the way in anti-bullying measures by introducing a new feature. You might have heard about a little something about the Instagram like ban. Today, we’re breaking down what it is, why Instagram is implementing it and how it may affect your business. Let’s dive in…
What is the Instagram like ban?
In July 2019, Instagram made headlines as they released a new initiative of hiding likes on users’ posts. Adam Mosseri, the head of instagram announced on July 17 that Instagram is expanding a trial run of hiding likes in seven countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. Under the test, the number of people who like a post will not be shown. Users are able to view who liked their own post but can not see how many people liked someone else’s post unless they manually count.
We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:
✅ New Zealand pic.twitter.com/2OdzpIUBka
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
Why does Instagram ban likes for anti-bullying?
Many people are asking: why? Why implement this initiative now and how will it affect the Instagram community? Mosseri is very open about his motives behind this business decision and reveals it has nothing to do with business at all. Hiding Instagram likes is a step toward creating a more inclusive, creative and empowering platform to all users without the pressure of obtaining a certain number of likes.
Mosseri is leading the way for users to stop worrying about the number of likes their posts are receiving and spend more time connecting with people within the platform. At the F8 Conference, Facebook’s annual software developer conference in San Jose, California, Mosseri spoke of hiding Instagram likes as a way to eliminate the feeling of competition between users. This strategy starts the conversation of bullying within social media and how we can help stop it.
According to the very definition, social media platforms are designed to be an outlet for users to create, connect and network. Mosseri is aiming to return to this foundational level of usage for Instagram as a platform. This is all part of the mission of many anti-bullying initiatives Instagram has taken over the years.
“Online bullying is a complex issue. For years now, we have used artificial intelligence to detect bullying and other types of harmful content in comments, photos and videos. As our community grows, so does our investment in technology. This is especially crucial for teens since they are less likely to report online bullying even when they are the ones who experience it the most.” said Adam Mosseri in an Instagram press release. “Our mission is to connect you with the people and things you love, which only works if people feel comfortable expressing themselves on Instagram. We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people. We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying, and we are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment.”
How will the Instagram like ban affect my beauty brand?
If your brand is marketing in one of these countries, you may have to change the way you’re working with influencers and how you do your social media reporting. This may lead to a shift in focus on other metrics, such as URL clicks, saves and reach.
The like ban also opens the opportunity for brands to lean into more interactive measures to find out what their customers want to see in their social media content. Think polls, asking for regular feedback, incentivized surveys and more dynamic strategies to get consumer feedback tailored to your beauty brand.
As social media platforms, specifically Instagram, evolve to combat serious social issues, I urge you to think about your own purpose on these platforms. Who are you posting for? Does your content have meaning? And are you connecting in a productive and respectful manner? The Instagram like ban leads us to answer these questions for ourselves, as we patiently wait for what Mosseri and the Instagram team do next.
Want to stay updated on the latest social media updates? Check out what’s happening on Instagram to learn more!