Lex Thoughts

Is Instagram Still Instagram With No Like Count?

As an influencer, like counts are a thing that’s often on my mind. I don’t know how many times I’ve posted a photo, come to check it a couple hours later and noticed it hasn’t gotten much traction. It’s discouraging to say the least.

With the algorithm changes, it’s a constant battle to be seen. I have close friends that say I don’t even pop up on their feed sometimes. If the people who regularly engage with me aren’t seeing my page, who is?

When I heard that Instagram was going to start testing eliminating the like count at first I thought it was utterly ridiculous. What was the point without likes? Then, I felt this odd sense of relief. What’s a world like where my social value is not based on how many likes my last picture got?

That world is actually not that far away. It exists within the Instagram app already. It’s stories. Stories are where you get the unfiltered/ non-curated version of your favorite influencers.

While I have a few story segments that I focus on (#OOTD, Celeb Style Friday, etc), my stories are really just random moments and occasional memes. I don’t care when I post, how often I do it, or how many people view my story. I just care about staying connecting with my followers on a daily basis. I feel like most influencers, even the ones with more curated stories, are the same way.

So, what would happen if likes were eliminated? When you take away that need for validation, will we go native and just post recklessly? Probably not, but I do think the unfiltered-ness that we get in stories would spill over into our feeds.

The real question is if the entire point of Instagram for getting likes? I really do wonder if removing likes would make the app pointless. If that is the case though, don’t you find that to be a sad representation of us as a society? The only reason we’re posting something is for the purpose of it being liked by strangers on the internet (and hopefully by a lot of strangers).

I am resigned in the fact that even though I welcome the change, there are many others that don’t. That may make a difference in whether or not this actually happens. That being said, if you are opposed to removing like counts, why are you?

If a picture is posted on the internet and you can’t see how many people like it, is it actually a good picture?

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