Quantity over Quality? The importance of Likes on Social Media
«Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters».
Antoine de Saint-Excupéry reflected the reality of our days more than 50 years ago.
Every minute there are 3,125,000 new likes on Facebook. That is a lot of likes: we obviously like to «like». We live in a world where the number of likes can determine our role in the society. But does that number really mean all those things?
Facebook has published their like button in 2009, five years after its launch.
Ironically, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg didn’t «like it». Maybe that’s the reason why Instagram had announced they were testing to hide the number of likes that each post gets this April and Facebook has followed it on September.
From the point of view of the society, likes are the presentation of self-affirmation. As psychologist Dr Max Blumberg explains: «People need approval because human beings are social creatures, so it’s no coincidence that it’s called social media». Thus, hiding likes may prevent users from comparing themselves to others and possibly feeling insecure if their posts don’t get as many Likes as they have imagined.
The consequences may be different for brands. This new era may bring back old standards and quality content:
- Referral traffic tracked throughout the customer journey
- Following the brand for its content
It will guarantee the measurement of the attention of audience. Of course, there will be changes of the metrics but the reporting dashboard will still be the same.
In conclusion, we may say that this new experiment, good or bad, will bring the new era with itself where the quantity of post reactions will no longer be on the first place neither for personal usage, nor for business goals.