In a pair of identical announcements on both Facebook and Instagram, the mothership that shares the same name as the former made it clear that what was once a test as far as showing or hiding Likes is now an option for all users.
It’s probably a welcome change for many because it gives the user the choice of whether or not to show likes on their accounts but it could complicate the analytics that drive some social media business decisions.
From Facebook’s blog post:
“What one person wants from their Instagram experience is different from the next, and people’s needs are changing. We’ve been working closely with third-party experts to better understand how to empower people, build self-awareness and shape a more positive experience on Instagram.”
We’ve reported on Facebook’s experimentation with Likes for the past year so it isn’t like something such as this was unexpected. And there are some really solid reasons for limiting this kind of thing not least of which includes online bullying and people putting themselves into dangerous situations to take novel selfies that might get likes but could also get them killed.
Of course, this is all part of an ongoing process at Facebook to improve the user experience:
“We’re also funding more external research about people’s experiences on Instagram, and how we can improve our policies and products to support our community. We’re currently requesting research proposals from global academics and non-profits. If you’re interested you can find more information here on how to submit.”
What do you think of Facebook and Instagram’s choice to allow users to hide likes on posts? Game-changer or probably a bad idea for people who make money off of the platforms for a living? What do you think the impact will be on photographers? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook’s ambivalence on Likes in the comments section below.
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