Like or hate? In almost all social networks, a little “like” served as fuel for the ego-supporters of the web.
Fortunes are built on a higher thumb. Figures emerged from this ongoing popular vote of approval.
At first we liked. It was a new gesture. We all become, imperceptibly, media to ourselves, seeking audiences and seeking approval via likes. This quest for approval has brought out talents and created monsters.
Because this systematic judgment of our posts, images, actions and gestures has become critical of our lives and the consequences have been disastrous.
An internal Meta group study, revealed by a leak last year, showed, among other things, that Instagram was burdening the mental health of young girls. With many edited and filtered photos posted on the photo-focused social network, young female users have developed new collages.
According to a survey conducted by Edelman for Dove, 71% of girls reported that they modified or covered up a body part before posting a photo on social media. Almost three out of ten girls (29%) admitted that they are less beautiful after looking at their boyfriends’ pictures online.
Youth and depression: the ransom of likes
Addiction to social networks, suffering because of a lack of likes, provocations in an attempt to get likes … a “nice” like has become a depression. So much so, that platforms and brands have found themselves compelled to question this system based on Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter and YouTube.
Back in May, Instagram and Facebook toyed with the idea of getting rid of the Like button…or at least the ability to activate or deactivate it. Instagram explained that the results of the various testing phases showed that removing the like count display helps some people decompress.
Meanwhile, YouTube has made roughly the same change. If Instagram preferred to enable the ability to hide ‘likes’, the video platform chose to erase the number of ‘dislikes’ visible under each video, an option only available on YouTube. If the platform wants to reduce the harassment of content creators targeted by hate raids, they can still detect the “dislike” number of their videos in YouTube Studio to better adapt their content to their community.
Brands are giving up on social media
These changes, which are still limited in scope, could gain impetus from new strategies for brands. Cosmetics brand Lush made waves at the end of November by leaving social networks in 48 countries. It was a carefully considered choice: “This decision is the result of long thought about these platforms and their detrimental effects on their users,” Chloe Chazzo, director of communications at Lush in France told us. The brand chose to suspend its accounts on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat but remain on Twitter as well as on YouTube.
What if views were more important than likes?
To adapt to both demand and dislike of the like, a metric that young people use less and less, social networks are turning to new indicators. On TikTok, little hearts count as well, but views seem to be just as important, if not more so, to making a video go viral. With Instagram accelerating the switch to video, it presents an opportunity to highlight views. The time you spend viewing a post is the most important measure of platform engagement. Besides comments, among the most valuable aspects of social networks, which are more important than the fact of liking the Instagram algorithm post.
This gradual erasure of likes opens a new era on social networks. The social consequences will only be noticed gradually. – AFP Relaxnews