A couple of months ago Instagram began a test in Canada that hides the total number of likes on photos and videos. So likes won’t be visible on the main feed and profiles, only the owner of the account will be able to see the likes. Last week the company announced that the test will be expanded to more countries.
The reason for this move, according to Instagram, is because “We want followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get”.
And there’s a good reason for that. Research shows that Instagram is the worst social media network for mental health and wellbeing. The platform was associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying and FOMO, according to the #StatusOfMind survey (the survey from the UK contains input from 1.497 people, ages 14 to 24).
Although the test is still a small step and some say it is not a cure-all solution, it is showing that Instagram looked itself in the eyes and took some responsibility for the system they themselves have created.
This reminds us of another case we recently saw; the Fly Responsibly campaign from dutch airline KLM. The company is using the campaign to ask travellers whether it is really necessary to take a flight, or if you could go by train for example. A bold move, since flying is KLM’s core business.
Both the Instagram and KLM example show that these companies acknowledge their role in societal issues and make a move to reduce the negative consequences of their core activities. That links well with insight we know from the Edelman Trust Barometer report 2019 (a study we use for our Lack of trust trend), that shows that consumers believe that companies can improve society. So now is definitely the time to take action as a brand since consumers expect you to do so.
A purpose close to your brand
We used these two examples to illustrate that your purposeful actions should be close to your brand. So if your core business is flying, you should first of all try to improve something within that industry – before you turn to another great cause that is less related to your organization and your core business. Start with improving yourself, in order to stay relevant and contribute to the society.
Purpose; a buzzword that hasn’t lost its value, but a term that also comes with a lot of questions and challenges on how you as a brand should be purposeful. Since we studied this topic for many years, we invite you to share your challenges with us and look for a tailor made solution.