Instagram’s recent decision to hide the likes count under posts has triggered an outburst of rage and complaints from influencers, but other people seem to find their problems petty.
The Facebook-owned social media platform has begun hiding likes in several countries, among them Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. According to the company, its move should level the playing field for all the platform users. Instagram wants them to stop hunting for likes and focus more on the content they post.
Such reasoning appears logical as recent studies have found that constant fixation on likes can be detrimental to users’ self-esteem and mental health.
However, Instagram influencers who earn money by posting sponsored content have their own take on the issue. Their feelings and reactions range from frustration and despair to anger and rage.
Mikaela Testa, who has some 50,000 Instagram followers, broke down into tears while commenting on the policy change, saying it kills her business. She uses the platform for advertising purposes and earns money by selling a subscription to her website, where she shares her adult-only photos.
“I run my own business; it’s a subscription website where I share provocative and raunchy photos and it makes me easy money. Instagram is what I use for advertising, I’ve only been doing it for five months, I’m very new to the job, but I’ve made $45,000 since I started,” she said in the interview with news.com.au.
Jessica Hoppe, a New York-based fashion blogger who recently started her own brand, told the Daily Dot that the new policy had a disastrous impact on her marketing efforts.
“When the algorithm changed, I saw a massive drop in engagement. It’s evident in the numbers that I just don’t get the eyes on my feed the way I used to, so I don’t even get a fighting chance,” she said.
Another influencer, who preferred to remain anonymous, called into an Australian radio show to say she had to work more due to the ban.
“I used to work six hours a day, but now I’m working eight hours a day because the ‘likes’ are going down,” she complained.
However, ordinary citizens can hardly feel for her as in Australia, for example, the average workday is 7.6 hours long.
“It’s no surprise that influencers are bitterly complaining. I question their rationale on their activities being called a business. The platform they use for ‘their business’ incurs none of the foundation or ongoing [cost] to operate a business. Their job description and skill sets are definitely ‘undefined.’ Finally, this is a wake-up call that all businesses are impacted by other businesses terms and conditions,” commented a reader.