Just as we predicted... Facebook has followed the likes of its younger sibling Instagram and announced it's dropping 'like counts' from posts. The big news? Guess where they're rolling this out first? Little old Australia.
Check us out! Not only are we the proud home of vegemite and Hemsworth brothers, we're trialling out the biggest change to happen to Facebook in YEARS before the rest of the world even gets a turn. Nice one 'straya.
So now that we've gotten over that part, let's look at the impact this could have on the platform and user experience.
From a human perspective, this is fantastic news. Think of how many teenagers sit in their room at night, staring at their phone, comparing the number of likes they got on a post compared to the 'Regina George' of their school. It's a very real issue and has a very real impact on many, kids and adults a like. We live in the era of 'I am not enough' and this kind of social popularity contest fuels this belief to look as if you have more, do more, are more. We even watched a documentary earlier this year where teenagers were openly admitting that they 'buy likes' on their posts to give themselves an ego boost and keep up with the Jones's. So from this side of things, it's a win.
Another reason we dig this new change is that it will encourage businesses to focus on what's really important. Engagement. Good old fashioned, quality content and conversation, because THIS is what really drives success from social media marketing. It's not gathering followers for the sake of numbers and so you can get a high number of likes on a post, it's delivering brilliant content that connects with your audience, that drives comments, questions, conversations and in turn - sales.
We're also really interested to see the impact this move has on advertising, engagement rates, user numbers and in general; how it shakes things up in the near future.
The rollout will start from today so if you haven't seen the changes appear on your profile yet, it'll likely happen over the next 24 - 48 hours for the majority of Australian users.
So tell us... what do you think of this big Facebook move?
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