With over 3 billion active users between them, it’s safe to say that Facebook and Instagram are two of the most used social media platforms. Due to their success, there is a large responsibility for the owners of the platform, to do what is best for their users.
Both Facebook and Instagram are currently trialling versions of their platforms in which the ‘Likes’ and/or ‘Follower’ counts are hidden from viewers. These changes are already being tested in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada and Italy, depending on the platform.
Users will still be able to see their own numbers and statistics. However, it will remove the competitive aspect that has the potential to affect mental health. As creators of apps and websites, we at iperdesign know that how the person interacts with a product is just as important as to what they get out of using it.
The overall goal of a social account, be that personal or business is interaction. The way users can interact with each other has become a controversial topic, due to the increase in online bullying. For years health advocates have recommended the removal of the 'popularity contest' aspect of social media.
The recent introduction of the ‘Restrict’ feature on both platforms allows people to, in effect, shadow ban their followers. This means that the unwanted commenter can still interact with their profile, but the only person who will see it as being a posted comment is the commenter.
Users have found it to be more effective than blocking people. This is because when it comes to bullying, blocking the person could make the situation a lot worse.
By implementing these changes the intended outcome is combatting online bullying. This could, however, be taking money away from ‘influencers’ who are paid to promote to their large followings.
Without being able to display their interactions publicly it will be hard to prove they have high engagement. This will most likely mean a shift towards them having to produce higher quality content, alongside links that have a direct item to sell. These sales will be heavily tracked to see if they were successful. This could potentially make brands stop using influencers, in favor of Facebook and Instagram’s own paid promotional tools.
If you would like to speak to iperdesign about how these changes could affect your business, use the Contact Us page.