Authenticity within Instagram

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03.03.2020, by Emily Smith

Instagram has recently made several changes to its platform, by testing the hiding of total likes and working to increase transparency between influencers and their audience. Read this article to see how these changes are being addressed and how Instagram is pushing forward to create a more authentic experience.

Instagram hiding public likes

For several months Instagram has been testing the removal of total likes from profiles and the feed. This means that you would only be able to see the total number of likes from your own posts in your profile. This test is now being rolled out worldwide to see how users globally react to this fundamental change on the platform.

Instagram changing such a key aspect of its platform could mean that influencers will have to reassess how they present their value to brands that wish to advertise with them, but Facebook is already looking at how this can be done. Some influencers believe that this could change the type of content seen on the platform and people are more likely to be genuine.

Most people don’t have a strong opinion on Instagram’s decision to remove public likes on the platform, though there are minorities both in support and against the decision. Those in support favour the idea as it is intended to reduce anxiety and the fear of not belonging and to focus the platform into connecting with others.

Instagram tackling #ads

As influencers on Instagram grow their audiences the power of #ad comes into question. In theory, when someone posts a paid promotion from a company they should accompany the post with #ad in the caption, but this is not always the case and influencers seem to be getting away with it

The purpose of #ad is to increase transparency between the influencer and their audience. To increase this transparency Instagram is now giving influencers the option to tag a brand in their post, once the brand has confirmed the relationship the post will be marked with ‘paid promotion’ at the top. However, it is still unclear how this will impact stories on the platform and promotions where direct payment isn’t given.

Only time will tell how people will respond to Instagram as it makes these changes to its platform. Content sharing habits and promotions from influencers are likely to change, but how this will impact the experience of Instagram is still only theorised. 

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