Facebook is experimenting with a change to their engagement experience by hiding the “like” count which appears beneath users’ posts and photos in the news feed.
Decoded. While creeping through Facebook’s code this week, an engineer discovered the platform’s secret testing. An FB spokesperson admitted that the company is considering testing the elimination of likes, but has yet to roll out any public trials for its users.
- So, instead of seeing the total number of likes that a post receives like you do now, users will only see that someone has liked their posts. The user will still be able to see how many people liked it, but will be invisible to everyone else.
Like father, like son. The move follows in the footsteps of Facebook’s brainchild, Instagram, which already began similar testing earlier this year.
A shift in the industry. After an extensive conversation in the tech industry about the way social media and apps make people feel, the shift away from seeing likes is an attempt to diffuse the competitive/empty feeling that may lead to depression in content creators.
- Several studies and mental health professionals have revealed a correlation between time spent on social media and depression in teens.
- The motive behind Instagram’s initial decision was to “create a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves”
How it affects my wallet?
The end of fake it ‘til you make it. Influencers and companies will need to adapt their marketing strategies. Likes and followers on social media are no longer considered important factors in the future handbook of influencer marketing.
Instead, companies will rely on actual online and in-store sales driven by influencer posts (gasp).
Genuine engagement. Without likes to determine popularity and authority, influencers will be required to pump-out higher quality content and actively engage with their followers in order to maintain their brand presence whether they LIKE it (or not).
Social media is changing with Facebook and Instagram experimenting with getting rid of visible numbers for likes and follows. The move might signal a fundamental change in social media as it moves away from “pressured environments”.
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