Puppies, Bushwick Bill, and Instagram.

Greetings from Greenpoint, where we’re having puppy problems: 

Here at HQ, our employees are doing things like having Casper mattresses delivered to the office and then figuring out how to keep other employees (and dogs) from taking naps on them. We’ve also made significant upgrades to our office greenery situation, much to the chagrin of our office manager who wants to know why there is so much soil in the sink. 

On to the #content: 

What's not to like

A few weeks back, Instagram left many stunned when they announced a test to hide like counts at F8, Facebook’s annual developer event. 

Social media has been attributed to plenty of mental health issues, and as head of Instagram Adam Mosseri assured F8, “We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition.” Hiding like count is the company’s newest initiative to help people focus on content rather than popularity, and comes as other social networks like Twitter and YouTube have also begun making noise about de-emphasizing metrics. 

The change would impact influencers the most, who depend on the status their high follow and like counts grant them. But as the system’s become easier to game, some influencers have moved away from the super-staged, ultra-filtered post aesthetic and gravitated toward much more candid looking shots with radically honest captions, while some brands have begun looking at comments and community engagement as better measures of a campaign’s success than likes.

Getting rid of likes is probably on balance a good thing! But as John Herrman notes in the NYT, it’s doubtful that these initiatives are motivated by concern for the general well-being of the body public. What’s more likely is that Instagram is concerned that people spend more time on Stories--where like counts are less emphasized--than in their feed. By sheer coincidence, no doubt, the feed is where most of the ads are. What this means for brands is to be determined, but we can take some solace in the fact that the “like” could finally be going the way of the dodo. Whether it makes social media any less toxic is another question entirely.