Question number two is how do I think Instagram removing light counts from photos will change the platform? I know last week we talked a little bit about whether or not I thought Instagram would do this and what their reasoning for doing it was, and this week it feels like I know I think they're rolling this out on a bigger scale. I've heard from a few Canadians in the last few hours that in Canada they are now hiding like counts. I've two things to say on that, in the week or so since filming the last episode of thinking about this, I have been trying to think why would Facebook do this? Why would they remove likes? Likes is such a big part of the platform, it's such a sticky thing.
When you post a photo and you go back and you're like for an hour you're just refreshing you want to see what the likes that you're getting. Why would they remove something like that? As I got a little further away from it realized, well one, the experience for you as a poster is not going to change you're still going to see the likes they're not going to remove likes, they're just going to remove the ability for other people to see them. You will still have that thing where you're coming and you're checking the likes. Then I was thinking how the only reason that Facebook would roll this out would take likes away is if they felt like it got people posting anymore. As we said last week Facebook is a business the only thing they care about is making money, that's fine, and they will not make any decision that makes them less money. If they're going to roll this out they will only do it if it makes them more money.
How would it make them more money? I think one thing that could be kind of interesting about it is I sometimes don't post because I don't feel like the photo that I'm going to post is going to do well, and since it's not going to do well I don't want to post it because I don't want something sitting in my account that has a 110 likes on it, and so I post a lot less than I used to. I wonder if by hiding likes publicly, if people will be more free with what they post. If they maybe go back to posting twice a day or three times a day, or they just are posting more freely and not thinking about it and feeling the pressure of having to get all these likes on every single post and have your engagement be completely equal across the board and blah blah blah.
If you remove that that tension of 'can I get likes on this post?' Do you post more? And for Instagram, if you post more it means they have more places to put advertising, and it means that they can make quite a bit more money. If they say, stories has been great but stories has completely eroded the amount that people are posting in the feed. We've seen this on our platform. It used to be before stories, that people posted 90 to 120 a month now they're posting 20 to 30 times a month. While they're posting a lot of stories and while Facebook and Instagram can sell story ads, story ads aren't nearly as lucrative, and they're not nearly as common. They probably need more people in the feed doing things, and one way to do that is more photos happening more often. Removing lights might just do that for them.
The more I been thinking about it over the next week, I think for me it would be great because again you're still going to see-- personally you're still going to see the likes, the brands are still going to be able to I assume somehow access that or see it or they'll just have influencers share that with them, and it could create a space where we don't feel like every photo needs to be perfect and it might create space for more experimentation, for people taking risks for post things they really love instead of just you know posting selfies of themselves, that they know is going to kill and is going to get a lot of likes. I do think that it could increase the creativity of the platform, and increase the diversity of content that we get to see. I personally welcome our new overlords-- they are new overlords I welcome our overlord's new experimentations and then and I'm happy to see where it goes.
- Instagram removes likes in Canada, Staying Relevant, Stealing Ideas