Social media has had a profound impact on todays society. Roughly 37% of the worlds population is active on social media, according to wearesocial.com. One of the most powerful tools in social media that we can see, is use of “likes”. Likes are used and measured in many different ways.
On the user end, users often feel a sense of validation by how many likes each of their posts receive. They also are able to like and follow people and things that they are interested in. They can show their friends and followers where they’re eating, where they are going, and generally what they are interested in.
On the other side of this equation, companies are able to track what each user is interested in. From there, companies are able to curate advertisements that are specific to each users interests and are able to find their perfect target audience. All because users share and like on their social media pages.
In the PBS documentary, Generation Like, filmmakers explain how both sides of the “like” are codependent. Because this generation of social media users have a desire to get more likes and gain more followers, companies are getting free marketing for their products and businesses. You can look at it like companies are taking advantage of this generations desire to get likes.
But is really taking advantage? No one is being forced to post anything. It’s something that we do all on our own. Users are incorporating these trendy products in their posts to get more likes, and raise their social status.
No matter how you look at it, likes benefit everyone on both sides.