Struggling Instagram influencers are being told to get 'real jobs' after 'like count' is removed
In 2019, there's simply no denying that we Millenials idolise influencers - and particularly those who only show the so-called highlight reel of their lives.
Because while we might claim to look down our noses at them - and their apparent inability to get 'real jobs' - there is a reason why they manage to make a living off uploading photos and videos of their oh-so enviable lives. We're the ones who are following them by the millions, engaging with their every post, and thus driving their profitability.
Remember when this influencer cried about the prospect of having a 9-5 job?
The rise in social media platforms - such as Instagram - over the last 10 years has only encouraged this sort of admiration from followers.
But, on the flip side, it has also led the trolls amongst us to persistently criticise these social media darlings for the way in which they make their money.
This criticism was at an all-time high last week when Instagram ran a social experiment in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand to see what would happen if it hid the number of likes on our Instagram posts.
In wake of the trial, influencers in Australia, in particular, have lost thousands of followers - and they're certainly not getting any sympathy from your average Aussie, with many telling them to "go get jobs in the real world".
"I'm sure they're hiring at Woolies and Coles," one Australian woman wrote on Facebook on Monday, after the Daily Mail revealed the number of influencers who may now struggle to get new sponsorships.
"I'd be devastated too if I found a job that I had to do basically nothing and then had to now work for it," wrote another.
"Thank God Instagram found a way to rein in this freeloading lifestyle these influencers live," added a third.
Instagram influencers Marie Fe, 29, and her boyfriend Jake Snow, 27 are paid to travel the world together - while sharing some gorgeous snaps along the way. Both of them, however, have welcomed the Instagram's 'no like count' proposal.
Here's a little snapshot of the striking couple on their travels:
Marie and Jake certainly aren't bitter about society's perception of influencers and, in fact, they welcome debate on measures which put an end to what is often a mindless and superficial competition for "likes".
While many influencers believed their sponsorships would take a hit if the move were to come to fruition, the couple felt it would create less of a need for unhealthy and obsessive competition amongst peers.
"We can understand how some people would see the 'no like system' as somewhat demotivating," Marie, 29, told FEMAIL. "The amount of engagement you get (likes, views, comments) is the main metric that publicises how much influence a person/brand really has."
She continued: "In our opinion, as people who make a living from social media, we believe this move will be really healthy for society. As business owners, if we can still see our own like counts, we can still gauge how well our content is being received and adjust accordingly to provide value and keep our audience engaged. It doesn't matter who else can see our likes it only matters that we can."
Jake believes that, through running a successful Instagram account, he and Marie now have an "extreme awareness" of what it can do "if you're not careful".
"We have always seen Instagram as a tool to reach people to share our message, our art and our work," Jake said. "But there are definitely times we find ourselves playing the comparison game. The comparison game is something we all get caught up in from time to time and it has been going on long before Instagram was invented."
"But Instagram has become the perfect filtered, highlight reel of our lives and what's become really unhealthy; people are comparing their normal lives with other people's perfect filtered Instagram lives."
The couple also said that removing likes would drive more Instagram users to post about what they genuinely care about, rather than what they think will lead to a spike in their popularity.
So, apparently, the situation isn't necessarily a losing battle for influencers. To gain a better insight, we'll just have to wait and see what happens if the "no like count" ever comes to fruition.