Early 2019, Facebook announced that it was removing its vanity metrics as part of a test – starting with the vainest platform of them all, Instagram. These vanity metrics were likes, views and potentially follower and subscriber counts in the near future. Needless to say, this got mixed reactions from the internet peeps who’ve grown accustomed to these interactions to know if people actually cared about their content and opinions.
In an interview with Facebook reps, the company mentioned that it was essentially “removing the pressure of how many likes a post will receive” – which are basically the numbers that make you feel good without actually telling you anything about your business and/or community, giving you a false sense of success. Facebook started rolling out tests in July in 6 countries including Australia, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand with the mission to “make Instagram a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves“.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the whole like-for-likes concept on socials. A like here and a reaction there might look good on paper but it isn’t really substantial from both the community and content creator. Sure it provides some sort of feedback to whether people resonated with your content but it doesn’t provide anything else other than a virtual pat on the back. With that said, here are some of my thoughts on why losing the aforementioned “likes” function will help make our world a better place.
In the near future when Facebook rolls out the red carpets and removes the ability to track likes and views from their platforms, the only way people will be able to attribute their success would be through meaningful social conversations and sharing of content. We’ve definitely lost that connection with one another in the past decade and I feel this disruption will help remind people the importance of being present, even in our interactions online.
Content First, Narcissism Later
So What Does This Mean For All Of Us?
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…or the author.