Part of me has this weird theory that Instagram does these crazy changes, whether lasting or not, to keep us talking about the app. I mean how many changes has Instagram gone through now? Some definitely more successful than others. I.e. Introducing stories and live, DMs, IGTV, algorithm changes, now hiding likes… It’s an ever-changing platform we all are infatuated with. Remember when Instagram had it as a side scroll [like Tinder] for .5 seconds and so many people freaked out they put it back? Yeah, I think this change is going to be like a tiny, microscopic version of that.
I had mentioned last Friday my thoughts via IG stories on this change. Because I live in Canada, and they’re testing it here first, I have friends who have already started to see this change, and upon talking about it, have received mixed reviews. I, however, don’t like it. That being said, this is just my opinion and I certainly see the ways it can do good. I know how much pressure this app puts on people- it used to drive me insane too. In particular, I think it’s really great for the younger generation. But here’s the thing we all need to remember first and foremost, it is just an app. Something on your phone you could very easily delete. At the same, it is the way in which a lot of people make their money, myself included, so I see the dilemma here.
Why I don’t think it will last: Instagram’s very essence is “likes”. This app started and became so successful because of the “likes” feature; taking that away could, potentially, ruin the app. I also think the majority of people who run this as a business are going to hate it, aside from those who have potentially bought and/or have low engagement, I can see those folks being very happy with this change. I’ve talked about how I spot fake engagement in the past in a fairly controversial post. I mentioned about how people buy instagram likes and instagram followers. So I do think, if this change lasts, buying likes for Instagram will become obsolete, which will be great for some people’s wallets. Either way though, I, personally, don’t like this change. Speaking from a purely business standpoint, I think it will affect the way we receive campaigns and collaborations. And before you say it, yes, I know you can still send insights, but I think less brands are likely to approach you in the first place if having to ask to see said insights, then there’s the issue with them ghosting you if they don’t like what you’ve shared with them, then you feel bad all over again, thinking like, “what’s wrong with me?” If they can see your engagement up front, it’s easier for them to want to contact you and work with you. There’s no “maybe” or “what if’s”. Of course, I always like to send insights as I’m very proud of my engagement but many brands don’t ask and it’s not always necessary. This has been my experience at least.
I understand Mark’s choice to want to change this, and I definitely think he has the good in mind when doing so, but, ultimately, I think more people will want Instagram back to its original way as we know it. What do you think about the change?