Over 1 bilion people use Instagram every month
That makes it one of the most popular websites in the world.
People put up photos and videos and then await 'likes'
The more likes you get, the better a human being you are... or something like that, so to speak. Likes are the currency of the Social Media world. The demand for likes is so intense that people will spend hours (and fortunes) crafting exatly the right photo or video so as to maximize the number of likes that they get.
People have been known to take down photos on Instagram that don't get enoughj likes. A low likes number is social death.
You can even buy likes on Instagram. $35 will get you 500 likes. For $1250 you get 20,000 likes. To me, this feels a bit like the selling of indulgences in the Catholic Church in the 15th Century - and that did not end well.
To head of a kind of Instagram Reformation, Facebook, the people who own Instagram, have engaged in a kind of social experiement of their own. They are banning likes counts in Australia, Japan, Canada, Italy, Ireland, NZ and Brazil.
The Likes Count ban, Facebook says, is becaues they are trying to dial back on social pressure caused by likes count competition.
That may be the case, but there may be something else at work here.
The phenomenon of Influencers, as I am sure you know, has been, well, very influential.
Given enough drive and posting enough photos and looking good enough and willing to spend 8 ior 12 hours a day working at it, and throwing in a bit of luck, you too can become an influencer.
Influencers with more than 1 million followers can command up to $10,000 per post. That's a lot. Some influencers can get as much as $100,000 per post.
Influencers, of course, depend on aggregating likes. That's how they prove their value to companies that will pay them to promote their products.
Take away the likes and you take away the currency.
Who needs Libra?
Many influencers are, understandably outraged at the Likes Ban
Let's say they don't like it
As one Australian influencer recently said on an Oz radio call in show:
“I used to work [on Instagram] six hours a day, but now I’m working eight hours a day because the Likes are going down!”
But the astonishing power of Influencers also has a rather negative problem for Instagram. No one seems to be paying much attention to the paid ads. And also, the paid ads don't hardly get any Likes.
The Internet community does not trust paid ads.
They like real stuff.
They don't LIKE commercials.
So what does Instagram do?
It bans likes.
I don't think this solves the problem, but there is a lesson here for anyone promoting a product online. Real stories work a lot better than canned commercials.
It's what people, well, like,