Have you ever heard of the whole Instagram model phenomenon?
Thought so, after all, they’re currently slowly taking over the world with their perfectly chiselled bodies, well cultured lifestyles and ridiculously healthy diets, let’s be honest, they make us feel like crap about ourselves!
Why isn’t my life that good?
Even though I know fine well it’s all overly emphasised and clever camera angles, I still can’t help but beat myself up with comparisons; how can this many people want to follow their every move? Why are there thousands and thousands of likes and comments? Isn’t my lifestyle not exciting enough? Am I not pretty enough? What am I doing wrong? I mean, besides the fact that the majority of my life is spent binge watching the vampire diaries on a continuous loop – personally, I blame Damon Salvator…anyway, returning from my brief tangent – I promise, I’m still somewhat interesting, we all are…so why aren’t we? And why do we beat ourselves up about it?
Regardless, I must admit, I still do love Instagram. It is, without a doubt, my favourite social media platform and I reckon many people would probably say the same.
It’s a strange obsession, that even though you feel like utter garbage you still find yourself aimlessly scrolling through your feed, walking about wondering what you can take a picture of next and to be honest, It’s not until recently that I’ve been able to admit that I, shamefully, have an addiction to this excessive popularity contest, constantly seeking some form of virtual validation.
I now feel myself making a conscious effort to try and avoid using Instagram so much, rejecting the cravings that I know are not only harmful to myself, but so many others; friends and strangers alike with our perfectly adequate, yet ridiculously inadequate lifestyles.
Luckily, as this began to impact more and more of us, Instagram have thankfully recognised the issue as something they can no longer ignore and are beginning to put steps in action to try and combat the major self-esteem issue that society is facing.
The first trial has been released in Canada, where the like count has been hidden from view of all accounts bar the owner and to be honest, I personally think it’s a fab idea but most importantly, undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
Instagram themselves say they want followers to focus more closely on the content that’s being shared rather than only value the popularity of it.
It’s true, sometimes many feel they may only like it because they feel they should and not necessarily because they actually do. The content has been devalued so much and instead; the numbers attached to it are worshipped.
If it doesn’t get over a certain number of likes, we get embarrassed and delete it, why?
Hiding the likes might actually distract us from this and instead, increase the value of the content (as stupid as it may sound) it should encourage us to like what we actually like!
What Does This Mean for Influencer Marketing?
As a relatively self-conscious user who sees this daily, I’m pretty relieved to hear about the new change and would love it to be adopted as quickly and widespread as possible. However, from a marketing perspective, who’s to know what this could mean? Could it impose some issues on influencer marketing? and for the influencers themselves? It seems perfectly plausible, particularly considering the fact this new era of marketing is largely built on the usage of social media and the power of popularity.
Therefore, it may indeed have a slight effect, however, it will not likely be fatal, unless people decide to boycott Instagram all together and seek public validation elsewhere…that’s when it may become a bit of a sticky situation.
A lot of influencer marketing is mainly achieved through large followings and not relying solely on the likes, for example a large following will have greater success in click through links usually advertised on the influencers public stories, its methods like these in which are able to capture a fresh consumer allowing them to gain a purchase experience of their own.
Although, that’s not to say that problems won’t arise? Instagram may even take It one step further and hide the follower count as well which might be slightly more detrimental for mini influencers.
At the moment however, it is unclear as to whether it will get implemented further afield, if it does prove successful, a ripple effect may cause similar strategies to evolve in other social media platforms and hopefully, create a much healthier community for us all!
Will it actually achieve a positive impact? Will it be even more harmful in the long run? Only time can tell. What can be certain though, is that this is only a very small act towards a much larger, more serious problem.