Instagram #GameOver?

instagram hiding likes

Two days ago, researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered and shared on her Twitter account the Instagram hiding likes internal prototype. Basically, a new Instagram where likes are hidden to the public. In the same week, Lush, the cosmetics giant, has decided to leave Instagram (and the other social media platforms) to focus on opening up a direct conversation with its community. It’s been an intense few days at Instagram HQ, I guess.

Instagram Hiding Likes: for real?

I don’t know if the two things are connected, but in a way, I think they are. Think about an Instagram where numbers were hidden. Imagine that the number of likes a post had before you’d seen it wasn’t there. Imagine you wouldn’t know how many followers your favourite influencer / blogger / brand had. Would you like their pic anyway? And would you follow that person? How much of what we do on social media is a response to what others have already done?

instagram hiding likes

In the screenshot, the number of likes a post gets would only be visible to the user who posted it. Everyone else will just see one username of someone who liked the post accompanied by “and others.” Obviously, there were mixed responses on Twitter and beyond. Influencers are freaking out about their positions, while brands wonder how they can now find the real influencers.

Instagram Hiding Likes? For real?

The PR people at the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, was quick to confirm to TechCrunch that ‘We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.‘ They also added, “we are exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.” Perhaps, Instagram (and Facebook?) will finally address the validation culture spreading issue (“I am not worth as much as that person as I have fewer likes/followers”), since it’s clear that teenagers, as well as grown-ups, are suffering by the pressure of social media competition.

Being an influencer without the metrics

Being an influencer is mainly based on those metrics, the numbers (real or bought) you can show brands to actually get a free stay in a 5-star hotel or a £10K picture to promote the launch of a new product. Can influencers exist without numbers?

If their engagement is hidden, then it would be harder if not impossible for brands to find them. Is this why Instagram has launched the new Creators account? Perhaps. We don’t know yet. Or maybe it’s simply to clean up the app from fake influencers and wannabe-famous?
Perhaps it’s time to go back to real marketing, where conversion matters more than a heart or a POD’s comment. Maybe brands, inspired by Lush, should invest more time in building their own community rather than wasting time on built-up audiences of ghost followers and fake profiles.

Is this the end of Instagram?

Lush clearly stated that they “are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed”. Oh! I so agree. Like Lush, in my little micro-world, I’ve built my community from scratch, from 0, curating my gallery day after day, year after year (it’s been 8 years now!!!), Instagram’s peeps put me on the now-dead Suggested User List twice and I do not want to pay to appear on the newsfeed of people who’ve already chosen to follow me.

I followed the Instagram rules, I’ve built a strong community wherever I went. Back in London, I used to host and gather dozens of strangers for brunch and photo walks. I even took the format to Milan, Tuscany India, Australia with me during my 23-month trip around the world. I hosted several free Instagram & photography workshops (now all my workshops have a price tag, #sorrynotsorry). All for Instagram. And my community of course.

I don’t know if it’s a smart marketing move, but I love Lush’s bold move and I 100% agree on their new commitment:

Let’s spark passions, and stop chasing likes.

What about small brands/entreprenurs then?

Well, my Instagram workshops always start with this sentence:

We are here to build your brand. First thing we build your community, then we think about your Instagram. Instagram is an instrument, not your goal.

Like Lush, I never paid for advertising. Not for the Storyeller at least (I do run campaigns for my clients). I’m not an influencer nor a brand. But even if I were, I wouldn’t want to pay for being seen by you. And honestly, I believe that Instagram hiding likes could be the only way to save this platform from an implosion.

If you chose to follow me, you have the right to see my posts regardless.

⁣⁣I have the right to be seen by you.

Without paying.

Maybe it’s time for all of us to realise that the Instagram era is over and to go back to what’s really important?

Are you for or against Instagram hiding likes? Are you thinking about leaving Instagram?

Let me know in the comments below and join the debate on my stories!

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Digital Nomads Trail – Stay Connected at MAADS while in Cambodia

digital nomads cambodia

Are you another digital nomad thinking to skip Cambodia because you’ve heard that the wifi is s*%t?

Please rethink.

Like most of you know, since I’ve left my corporate job in London two years ago, I’ve been doing all sort of gigs and jobs to sustain my travels while slowly finding my little niche as a digital nomad and, more recently, entrepreneur. You can read more here where I answered the question that I get asked about 43925704375943 times a week.

Time has passed since I wrote that blog post and in the meantime, I’ve religiously decided to drop anything that wasn’t very profitable, long-term or aligned to my values. To cut the story short, I’ve slowly narrowed my scope to become a remote content creator, influencerSEO specialist and yes, start-up entreprenuer. Maybe a weird mix, but one that works extremely well for me, but especially for my clients.

Since I’ve achieved the official status of digital nomad I could no longer stay in remote places or hostels with crappy wi-fi. Being connected has become essential to me and that’s why in Cambodia, a country known to lack reliable wifi I decided to get in touch with MAADS. This is a little chain of stunning boutique hotels all around Cambodia. But the peculiar aspect of each and every hotel that belongs to MAADS is that they all offer impressive comfort for us, the vagabonding digital nomads.

Not only they are impressive structures that offer all sort of services you might need, you can also rely on FAST internet and comfortable working stations.

While I was in Cambodia, I had the unique opportunity to stay at two of their properties in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Guess what? Both times, I extended my stay and I was tempted to just lock myself in the room and move in. Forever.

ABOUT MAADS

All MAADS hotels have a distinctive identity and each remains true to its local architectural heritage, design and atmosphere. The founders, Marie and Alexis de Suremain, are the minds behind this string of hotels, restaurants and shops in Cambodia.

Nature has always been the inspiration behind all their projects starting from the opening of the first hotel in Phnom Penh, in 2006. To today, the founders and MAADS stand for responsible and sustainable tourism.

But MAADS is so much more than this. It’s also known for:

  • respecting and actively contributing to the destination by promoting local creativity and cultural activities
  • offering more than facilities, food and a bed. People choose MAADS to immerse themselves in a dream
  • being inspired and devoted to the natural environment.

 

TEMPLATION SIEM REAP – CAMBODIA – MAADS ASIA

The property

Minutes away from the spectacular Angkor Wat and located in a very quiet area of Siem Reap away from the tourists, Templation is a true oasis of calm, silence and beauty.

The hotel features Junior Suites, Pool Suites and Pool Villas as well as a RestaurantSpa & FitnessMain Pool and the shop Cambomania.

During our stay, Ale and I had the fantastic opportunity to be the first guests to attend a local cooking class lead by the Head Chef. Set in the gorgeous garden and filled with delicious spices and tastes it was one of the highlights of our stay.

Templation Gallery

 

DETAILS

Templation is north of the new Angkor Ticketing Center, closer to the entrance to the temples, and at 9 kms from Siem Reap International Airport, avoiding congested downtown Siem Reap. A 5mns drive will get you to Angkor Wat, the National Museum or the city centre. info@templation.asia  +855 (0)63 969 345  +855 (0)92 783 622  Rok Rak Street, Modul 3, Phum Sla Kram, Siem Reap, Cambodia

TEAHOUSE PHNOM PEHN – CAMBODIA – MAADS ASIA

The property

Inspired by Asia’s love and knowledge for tea, Tea House is one of Phnom Penh most peculiar hotels. The design combines classic Chinese details with the latest technology and facilities. Once you step inside, you will feel like entering a secret garden of quiet and peace right in the middle of Cambodia capital city. The perfect place to relax and get some work done.

The hotel features a Tea LoungePoolTea GardenRestaurantSpa and a Cambomania shop.

All the rooms are simple yet stylish and you can choose from two bedroom suite to our standard double for lone travellers or couples, all include free (fast) Wi-Fi and generous buffet breakfast.

Teahouse Gallery

DETAILS

TeaHouse: info@theteahouse.asia  +855 (0)23 212 789  #32, Street 242,  Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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If you also would like to stay at Teahouse MAADS in Phnom Penh while exploring Cambodia, make sure to use the DIGINOMAADS code when booking so that you can enjoy a 10% discount and a free 30-minutes massage. [Long/medium arrangements also available]

 

Massive thank you to MAADS, Bernard Cohen and my favourite model Alessandra.