During my recent blogging break, I heard the news that Instagram is trialling (with some of its users’) the removal of the ability to see who has ‘liked’ a post and how many ‘likes’ the post has had. Only the author of the post will have access to the information.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Why are Instagram conducting the trial?
There are a number of reasons why the trial is being conducted but the main reasons are because some Instagram users reported that seeing too many ‘likes’ on a post made them feel demoralised.
In turn, some users went on to delete their account or develop ‘social media envy’ at seeing how well other users were doing compared to themselves. One user admitted that, for them, ‘the number of ‘likes’ was more important than the content’; in other words, they saw Instagram as more of a popularity contest.
Do you remember how you felt when your blog got its first ‘like?’
The news took me back to my early days of blogging and how I got excited if anybody ‘liked’ one of my blog posts. For me, a ‘like’ indicated that somebody had taken the time to read what I had written. Yes, somebody out there in the big wide world had taken a few minutes of their time to read and like something I had written.
It also motivated me to write more blog posts in the hope that they would attract even more ‘likes.’ Of course, if somebody also left a comment, that was a bonus!
As I grew the list of the blogs I followed, it wasn’t long before I realised that there was not enough time in my day to read, like and comment on all the blogs I followed. Given that some of the bloggers I followed were publishing new blog posts more than once a day, I was soon overwhelmed and found myself drowning in a sea of voices, all wanting my attention.
Have you played the click-happy ‘like’ game?
Something I began doing was to ‘like’ a post without reading it. I thought that by doing this, it would indicate to the blogger (who had written the post) that I had read their post and they, in turn, would continue to read and ‘like’ my posts.
I soon found out that lots of other bloggers and readers were playing the game (I thought I was the only one playing) because they were all in the same boat as me. The ‘like’ button was being misused and not being used as it should be by some users.
Would you press the like button on a post that contained bad news or news of a death?
In February 2018, I published a blog post posing the question if it was time to remove the ‘like’ button from blogs? Click the link below to read it.
The response I got was overwhelming. However, what shocked me was the contents of some of the comments. Some readers admitted that they left a ‘like’ even if they had not read the post. Why? Because it was ‘showing support’ for the blogger, who had written the post, even if they didn’t have time to read it.
Really? Liking a post without reading it is a way to support a blogger?
Sometimes, we have to admit defeat, and just get on with it!
At the time I published the post, I also removed the ‘like’ button from my blog. Some readers commented that they missed seeing the like button on my blog but didn’t say why.
Unfortunately, what I didn’t know was that on WordPress, the ‘like’ button is connected to the ‘reblog’ button. Removing it also removed the ‘reblog’ button from all of my posts.
Despite my protests to WordPress about the unusual connection between the two buttons, they were not going to change anything, so I reluctantly reinstalled the ‘like’ button to get the ‘reblog’ button back. After all, most of us bloggers want our posts to get shared, don’t we?
Just because somebody hasn’t ‘liked’ your post, doesn’t mean they’ve not read it.
Are you as ‘click-happy’ as I once was?
In the past, you may have seen my Gravatar at the bottom of lots of blog posts indicating that I had ‘liked’ the post despite whether I had read it or not.
Then again, you may also have seen my Gravatar at the bottom of a post indicating that I had ‘liked’ the post even if I hadn’t particularly been interested in the contents. Why was I ‘liking’ blog posts that I hadn’t particularly enjoyed reading?
Part of the blogging plan (I put together during my recent blogging break) is to stop ‘liking’ so many blog posts. Now, you’ll only see my gravatar next to the ‘like’ button if the post has been an enjoyable and interesting read.
It’ll also get a ‘like’ if it has given me ‘food for thought’, connected with me, made me say ‘Wow’ after reading it, evoked emotion, stopped me in my tracks, or made me leave a comment that isn’t empty or more than a couple of words long. After all, isn’t that why the ‘like’ button is there?
Are you somebody who presses the ‘like’ button on the majority of the blog post you read, or on the majority of blog post published by certain bloggers?
Do you take any notice of the Gravatar icons next to the ‘like’ button?
I don’t anymore. That’s why I hope the trial at Instagram goes well and convinces them that the ‘like’ button is of little use other than that of the person whose post it is.
In my opinion, the ‘like’ button is something that serves little purpose other than to the person who wrote the post. I’d go as far as to say that the ‘like’ button found at the end of blog posts should disappear for good.
I do know that not everyone misuses the ‘like’ button. There are many readers who do read the whole post before pressing the ‘like’ button. However, remember there are many other ways we can support a blogger than becoming ‘like’ clicking-happy.
For example, once in a while, leave a blogger a comment that isn’t meaningless or one that they and others may see as an empty comment.
Don’t become a ‘comment spammer’ by leaving empty comments in the hope that you’ll get comments back on your posts. There’s no point in commenting for a comment’s sake, is there?
Why do some bloggers press the ‘like’ button on their own blog posts?
If you’re someone who says that you don’t always have time to leave comments, rather than spend small amounts of time leaving empty comments on lots of posts, use the time you save not leaving them by leaving an occasional comment that adds value to the post. Most bloggers will value that far more than lots of comments that add no value.
When, and for what reasons, do you use the ‘like’ button on WordPress? Do/have you ever misused it, and would you miss it if WordPress removed it from all WordPress blogs?
Before you answer any of my questions or leave a comment, this is what WordPress say about the ‘like’ button.
Let’s say you’ve found a particularly awesome post on WordPress.com. You’d like to tip your hat to the author and give him or her credit. At the bottom of the post, you see the Like button. Press it, and the author will know that you have acknowledged an exceptional, phenomenal blog post.WordPress.com
Please feel free to answer any of the questions I have asked throughout this post by leaving me a comment. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
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