If you scrolled down your Instagram newsfeed today and noticed a change then you were on the ball. Don’t panic this change hasn’t been rolled out into all global territories, but should the large-scale test across the United States yelled positive results and feedback from users I am sure we will see a blanket roll out.

You may have been tracking this change over the last few months as it was tested Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand

Some of the motivation behind this change sits in the following areas: 

-Mental health

-Online safety

-Inclusive space

Read this article for a full break down and to learn more about this change.

Social media has evolved over time and thinking deeply about this, I am encouraged to see how platforms are taking steps to drive digital interactions among like-minded individuals with similar interests. After all this is one of the most powerful offerings of social media.

This move from Instagram drew my attention to the following three points:

-The way we use Social media in our daily lives is changing. Social influence is shifting and platforms are focusing on how they are retaining users through adding new functionality to keep them on the platform a longer period of time. (This will eventually open up new models of advertising for brands to consider).

-Brands needs to reconsider the type of content that they are sharing. Social media forms a unique distribution channel and opportunity to connect with an audience. Your content needs to add to the overall customer journey, it is a digital library after all.

-How much do we actually know about the algorithms that run and organise our newsfeeds? We have very limited control over the customisation of what we see, so why do we use these platforms?

For now, social media platforms are moving towards creating smaller audiences. These audiences are focused on fostering human connections in an ever-growing digital world.

So, what does this mean for the future of influencers and how they measure the engagement rate social media channels receive? One thing is for sure, they are going to have to change the way allocate value to their posts as they can no longer allocate a value to solely engagement rates.

It is interesting to see how the digital world continues to develop and adapt to user behaviour/sentiment. Earlier in the year Instagram removed the tab which showcased the actions of the people you followed.  My prediction is that by removing likes this will drive an increase in the use of the discovery section of the app and potentially the use of Instagram TV (although this still has a long way to go with regards to producing content that adds value to a page follower).

Who knows this may just be a well-timed bigger strategic move from Facebook as they seek to promote how they their platforms really do have the best interest of the users at heart. It certainly adds another dimension to the social media debate surrounding the upcoming US elections.

Let’s see how it plays out, until then happy “liking”.