Likes Are Inferior to Friendships on Social Media Like Instagram, New Study Finds

A common assumption about how social media gets used is that people prioritize likes and other forms of gratification above anything else. In spite of the fact that this is the case, a new study has shown that something else might be even more important, namely having friends and a social circle on these platforms.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that people have been found to interact with their friends in a manner that does not always seem entirely reciprocal. What this means is that they will like their friend’s post regardless of whether or not they will receive a like in return or have gotten this kind of interaction from their friend in the past.

This information comes from researchers who conducted a study at the University of Bath. Another thing that this study revealed is that people can behave quite differently towards acquaintances than they normally behave with their friends. Engagement and interactions with acquaintances on social media usually involve a lot more reciprocity, which is to say that users generally don’t like people’s posts on Instagram if they have not received likes in return or expect to.

Hence, relationships can be a strong influence towards liking behavior because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up determining how a particular user might approach this type of thing. Getting a like does not necessarily have to come first in order for the person to then provide a like to a different individual that they are friends with online.

This study can prove to be enormously useful since social media companies can glean some insight from it that can help them to better optimize their products and have more of a positive influence on the manner in which their platforms get used. Studies like these can help make social media better than might have been the case otherwise, at least from the point of view of users who rely on them for various forms of social activities.

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