Social Media News: Facebook and Instagram have been in the news lately – for introducing a new ‘secret crush’ feature and hiding the total number of likes under each post (and who liked the photo) respectively.
Instagram is killing the ‘like-count’ under each post
Instagram is testing killing the number of “Likes” under each post feature:
The change is supposed to eliminate the negative impact that likes seem to make on users’ mental health – by eliminating unhealthy ‘like’ competition and comparison behaviours.
And yet – it will have a serious impact on marketers:
Until now, savvy Instagram marketers could easily boost follower counts on their (or their client’s) accounts by following the people who liked their photos (since 20% – 35% people follow back), and then unfollowing those who didn’t (the so-called ‘follow-unfollow’ method).
To stay within Instagram’s limits, you could follow/unfollow about 20 people per hour, and 100-200 users per day. (source)
This also worked for competitor’s accounts – one could easily find out who was following their competitors by checking out who likes the photos on their profiles and then follow/unfollow them. That way, you could easily build a ‘lookalike audience’ on Instagram.
With the disappearance of the ‘like count’ under the photos feature, this will become impossible.
Facebook will tell your secret crush you like them
Ok, maybe not exactly – but Facebook recently announced how its ‘Secret Crush’ feature – part of it’s new Facebook Dating platform – will work.
Facebook Dating is actually a new option that will soon become available to Facebook users as part of Facebook rather than a standalone app.
The users that want to use FB dating will have a separate ‘dating profile’ – and will be able to nominate up to 9 ‘secret crushes’. If one of your secret crushes nominates you back – it’s a match! – and you will be notified! If not – your secret crush will remain your (and Facebook’s algorithm’s ;) ) secret…
Facebook Dating – we saw it coming…
Facebook’s foray into the dating apps industry seems a natural way to further monetize the massive network and increase the stickiness of the app.
Let’s *face* it – Facebook would be stupid not to use its massive user base to undercut dating apps, and, at the same time, increase its relevance of its users.
What does it mean for social media marketers though?
As Facebook departs from its core ‘social networking’ functionality more and more, and slowly evolves into a ‘do-all’ behemoth of an app – the number of reasons to use it grows and the urge to leave will be lower.
This means that the doomsday scenarios that ‘Facebook is dead‘ may not prove true after all – and that Facebook is here to stay for a few more decades. Zuck and his team at least seem to be on the ball with what their users want to keep FB relevant. It’s interesting to see what Facebook evolves into in the coming years, as the FB team continues to innovate and add new features.