While Instagram continues to test hiding likes on people’s profiles, Kim Kardashian West has already made her thoughts heard during an engagement at Time Warner Center in New York City, according to a report by People.
“As far as mental health… I think taking the likes away and taking that aspect away from [Instagram] would be really beneficial for people. I know the Instagram team has been having a bunch of conversations with people to get everyone’s take on that and they’re taking it really seriously, and that makes me happy,” she said.
Kardashian West added that although she considers herself “extremely mentally strong,” she notices that people can be obsessed with their numbers on Instagram, taking away from their experience.
So far, no major celebrity has spoken out against the change. It’s been generally well-received although there is a lot of speculation about how Instagram’s eventual roll-out of a “like ban” would have ripple effects on the way that brands would interact with smaller influencers.
For an influencer with under 50,000 followers, it’s unlikely that they’re on the radar of major companies like Nike or KitchenAid. While large influencers can rely on their notoriety either online or in the “real world,” these “micro-influencers” have to provide some incentive for these brands to place their bets on their ability to move their followers.
SocialPubli CEO Ismael El Qudsi recently wrote on this subject, suggesting that brands must now look towards more creative ways of measuring the potential success of their campaigns. Among those is the amount of organic interaction that influencers have with their audiences.
“A change to the way Instagram displays interactions shouldn’t be seen as a catastrophe, but instead as an opportunity to develop new, more durable strategies for engagement and community building,” he added.
It’s a given that the commercial environment on Instagram might get a shake or two out of such a change, but it ultimately may lead to brands sponsoring those who have built strong and meaningful relationships with their followers. This would provide incentives to become more multidimensional and stop focusing on the “grindy” accumulation of likes.
The demand for influencer marketing won’t just stop once Instagram decides that likes will no longer be shown publicly on the platform’s millions of profiles. In fact, the trend is upward and businesses are keen on finding smaller voices that can help spread their messages.
Although Kardashian West welcomes the “like ban” for her own reasons, there are indeed many other ways by which such a move by Instagram could provide some positive momentum.