At the moment it’s an experiment, but Instagram is testing what happens in the behaviour of the users if it hides the ‘like’ in the photos and the amount of reproductions of the videos. The social network wants to see what effect it has if only the author knows how many likes his publication has.

Instagram, whose experiment is taking place in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand, says it wants users to focus on content rather than quantity. Theoretically, they are encouraged by their concern for the mental health of young people, whose self-esteem in many cases depends on the number of likes. But an Instagram without likes, whether or not it is sought by those responsible, has many other consequences. For example, it could be able to deflate the influencer phenomenon.

Rather, everything points to its transformation. In the new Instagram the influence will be more a question of quality than quantity. And when we say influence, we are talking about brands, consumption … we talk about money.  Actually the social networks we’ve known are dying. Maybe what Instagram is planning is actually a symptom of something bigger; the end of likes in Instagram would thus be part of a much larger change in the role and behavior of social networks. And everything, of course, is for fear of losing influence, that is, business.

Statistics show that younger generations are leaving these social networks behind and the future of social networks is in a transformation that passes through their content, offering more authentic connections between a brand and its audience. Influencers “influence” less and less and this movement of Instagram could be a definitive blow to the business that many of them have created around the likes.

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