There’s an interesting story roiling the world of Social Media these days in that a photo posting website called Instagram is going to implement Hidden Likes in an attempt to encourage creativity, at least that is the thinking. Basically, in any Social Media platform people post something and other people Like it. With Hidden Likes, only the original poster will be able to see the number of Likes a particular missive gathers.
The CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, is implementing the Hidden Likes strategy for a number of reasons. One of those is the following thought: if people are not posting things in attempt to garner Likes they might post more creative and interesting ideas rather than going for the sensational.
The first thing we must dismiss is the idea that Likes do not have an influence on what is posted. If the Hidden Likes update goes into effect it will certainly change what people post to some degree. I post fairly regularly and can tell you, first hand, there is a pleasure in getting more Likes and knowing that others are aware of the popularity of my original post. I often attempt to word my blogs in a way to generate attention. Now, that being said, I generally write about ideas and events that impassion me.
The number of Likes a post generates certainly indicates its popularity in the same way the number of sales of a product shows if there is market for that item. If posts of a certain style generate likes and other people see those likes, then those individuals certainly start making posts in a similar vein.
When a network has opinion shows where in the hosts express outrage and populist ideas it gets far better rating than a pure news channel. That’s the reality of this world. We look for the approval of others and imitate those who are successful in getting such praise. Likes are essentially ratings for all to see.
While Hidden Likes make it more difficult to determine which post gets the most attention, people will find a way to circumvent the new system. The competition to get the most Likes will continue.
Now, all that being said, the CEO of Instagram can implement any policy he wants. It’s his business model and perhaps this update will generate more Likes for the company which is expressed in the number of users on the platform. Perhaps it will drive people over to a competitor’s social media site. Perhaps it will increase creativity, there is no way to know for certain.
My final conclusion? I don’t really have one. It’s an interesting look into the Social Media platform and the power of Likes. You might want to ridicule them but they have power, that much I know.
One thing is sure, it’s generating publicity for Instagram, as seen in my post here. Perhaps that was the plan all along.