Recently, we highlighted noteworthy feature updates and their impact on users. A common trend surrounds likes and their usage. Likes are a hot topic! Platforms are reviewing the metric in terms of its benefits and drawbacks. In fact, Instagram intends to scrap likes for ‘Saves’, regardless of the platform getting 4.2B likes a day (SproutSocial). So in this article, we’ll discuss these impacts in detail, keeping your finger on the social pulse.
Benefits of likes
CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes his view clear during a public Q&A. Presenting button semantics, he states likes as a force for good. However, giving people various ways to express emotion and reaction is something to consider. This came to fruition with different ways to react on FB as emojis. Meaning users can comfortably express their reaction, without the negatives associated with disliking content. Additionally, likes present an effective metric for marketers to measure content quality, when reporting engagement analytics. The question is, can they be a bad thing?
Drawbacks of likes – A hinderance?
It could be the end of an era for our beloved like metric. A mounting, but inconclusive body of research suggests they have a direct impact on the self-esteem and wellness of their users. With mental health in question, is the like button now a force for bad? The validity of recent studies is questionable, but they point to poor body image, sleeping habits and increased depression. Coupled with FB’s struggles to police hateful content, they’re taking steps to address the issue. Similarly to IG’s like hiding, FB now follow suit. They’re testing hiding the number of likes, as well as video views in Australia. it’s yet to be confirmed if they’ll carry the test out internationally.
With like hiding as the platforms’ key focus, we can assume likes have stirred up quite the storm. Primarily, a force for bad which will see replacements in the form of ‘Saves’ and other variants. The impact on the user will be beneficial. However, less can be said for influencers who rely on the metric to make a living.