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The Currency of Social Media and the Role of Likes According to Scientists

According to scientists, social media's currency is not money. Its value is based on the number of "likes" a post or a page receives.

These days, everyone on social media might be considered a marketer. On Facebook or Instagram, you can claim to be a hard-as-nails fisherman or the world's best wife. Individuals who like to write poetry about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle while showering can position themselves on Facebook as intellectuals.


When it comes to social media, many marketers view the number of likes as the major gauge of success when it comes to self-promotion. And, as usual, they're completely correct. However, let's try to find out why. Florence Verbitskaya

The day before March 26, 2020

While likes are difficult to pin down, they're much more perplexing to those in the SMM industry. Actually, we only know that posts which gain organic shares (no cheating) get more attention on social networks. When it comes to sophisticated newsfeed algorithms, that's how they function.

A general understanding of these principles is enough for most individuals, but I wanted to further comprehend the fundamentals. Everyone wants to make more while working less, so let's investigate why.

People who like you have money. Or is there more to it? Actually, these are genuine dollars.

For some time in the 2010s, scholars took an interest in likes. They even had the audacity to request people get an MRI done in their daily lives by talking on social networks. Using the example of brain activity, researchers discovered that both the main and secondary reinforcement (reward) centres of the brain were activated in subjects who enjoyed content and had people like their postings.

A primary reward is something tangible. Evolution says that people get a reward for correct behaviour. This reward includes a complex cocktail of brain chemicals that produces a pleasurable feeling of fulfilment. Reward incentives, for example, food, water, physical comfort, and sex, serve as primary motivators. The reward itself is chemical when the brain gets these incentives. Playfair is a design that connects two design elements. The Enlightenment was a moment of pen innovation that began in the late 18th century, when sharp steel pens took the place of the broad nib quills.

For example, with primary reinforcement, there are always secondary rewards as well. It is with regard to secondary reinforcement that secondary rewards include money, attention, affection, and positive grades in school.

People have been interested in brain responses to monetary rewards since the year 2000. Money was a good tool for testing since it has an objective worth. K. Izuma and his co-authors were the first scientists to show that social incentives activate the same areas of the brain as monetary rewards. Other research teams have successfully attained same conclusion, in different experimental situations.

A funny coincidence occurred. Izuma's study was made public when the first 'like' was posted on the internet. FriendFeed introduced "I Like It" (like) a few months before Izuma unveiled his work. As a matter of interest, Facebook acquired this network after it had launched.

Though likes and money both have the feature of discreteness (they can be counted) and can be considered relative to the human mind, money is a distinctly measurable, if subjective, asset. What this means is that social media marketers feel as if they are being paid when they receive likes.

Like tokens are a valuable social currency that can be used to buy headgear.

"Notice how great our hats look! When you gather a lot of likes, that's what you get."

Now we're being presented with a view of money from the opposite side. Carnal desires (sexual desires, to have food, etc.) have a clear social element to them, as opposed to money, which is relatively abstract and can be stored in safes. When discussing the evolutionary history of primates' and humans' brains, A.P. Adolfs and R.A. Dunbar suggested in 2009 that the increased relevance of social interaction and group membership is intertwined with the brains' history.

In a sense, the human brain was "forced" to evolve by merciless evolution, which developed the organ to be prepared to handle social complexities. It would be difficult to explain how evolution forced the brain to do something, wouldn't it? When students use the chemical handouts and whip, they get good results. Communicating well allows you to have a positive attitude about your surroundings while communicating poorly results in feeling fearful and anxious.

A team of researchers, led by the people who contributed to the research piece "What the Brain Loves: Neural Feedback Correlates in Social Networks," as discussed in the article's opening paragraphs, states that likes are a novel idea, and yet they actually echo an ancient human necessity. This urge is to be part of a group of people who have something in common, and to obtain recognition in that group, and to move up the group's hierarchy. People and businesses try to build a strong and profitable position in society by seeking plenty of likes on social media.

Due to its compulsion to seek attention, it enjoys getting negative attention

"What exactly are you looking at? Wine is on the table."

There are a number of research groups that have found that social network users' brains light up not only when they get rewards but also while they concentrate. Lauren E. Sherman and her colleagues demonstrated that the presence of strangers' likes on photos had an effect on both brain and behavioural reactions.

On Instagram, where Likes are associated with reward and visual attention, and where a higher number of Likes is linked to better neural responses, it has been discovered that those who look at Instagram photos with a lot of Likes experience more pleasurable feelings and have better visual attention. When we compared those photos that received few likes to the original photos, we found that their brains weren't as interested and attentive.

This result may be interpreted as: We have such finely tuned minds that we recognise, "Gaze, gape! No one is immune to waste. Let's examine this more closely! All of the pack is correct. There might be a very good reason why we are doing this."

You could be correct in assuming that the pack may be incorrect, but evolution doesn't concern itself with that. It achieves this by bringing to the forefront an a priori mechanism of paying attention to what others have prioritised. They are a form of attention, and likes are currency.

Likes Mean public support to support grumpy cat " Brain Likes "His is Kitty. His is Kitty. Without your likes, Kitty is sad."

Scientists (in particular R. Hayes) pointed out in 2016 that consumers of social media like social support. Other researchers (e.g., T. Inagaki) have revealed the active reactions in the brain area termed the ventral striatum to be inducing such support. Here we see an evolutionary encouragement occurring again. The ventral striatum is heavily implicated in the chemical strategy of strengthening human behaviour.

Likes can not only serve as a means of supporting someone else but can also send a message, "I'm the same as you; we have the same experience." Hayes established that the individual who offers it enjoys expressing assistance with pleasure.

Evolution believes it is necessary to understand how to encourage "good" members of these organisations and not merely to integrate into social groupings and struggle for a spot in their hierarchy. It is also a key survival feature of the entire human species.

Looks like aesthetics

Notice how the sky is built and how airy the design of the castle is. It's totally unforeseen.

Lauren E. Sherman and her colleagues' studies, which we have primarily looked at in this article, were designed to show or refute the assumption that the brain's reaction to like and to press Like is a reward to social conduct and social learning. This theory was proven by their investigation, but scientists also observed that the award systems of the subjects were engaged when they encountered images of art. For whatever reason the experiment participants found these photographs more enticing.

This feature has not yet been studied. It is too early to draw important conclusions, but we have realised that something aesthetically lovely on social networks also turns on the reinforcement scheme by users, which must not be underestimated.

How can marketers wrap their heads all over?

It is quite difficult to read a metric in the form of likes and to adapt it in a practical sense. The primary interpretation has already been sorted. Let us also have a secondary understanding: practical and friendly.

Let's try to divide the data received into two categories: what authors get when they see the content they enjoy, and what they get. Let's begin the first group:

Content authors prefer symbolic money. Companies, bloggers, and various media still need to understand how they might be converted into real money.

Increased attention is given to content authors in the form of likes of those whose work is addressed. It makes sense to keep this attention from a business perspective and also turn it into money.

Content producers (as well as brands) are supported by social network members in the shape of likes. It can be converted into a brand image in companies, and people who support it can be turned into supporters and brand ambassadors.

The influence of a good artistic rendition of a content is also an advantage for business. You have to make beautiful content and you have to see the aforementioned points.

Let's pass the second group now:

People who like content have a feeling that they are part of a social community.

People are fighting for a spot in the hierarchy of the group. This objective can also be reached with the support of lovers. People are becoming strengthened physiologically for such behaviour.

People strive to win the contest in the group. They would like to convey their support, on the other hand. Thus, they help not only the most popular individuals of the group, but also the survival of the whole group. This is called prosocial conduct, which also receives a chemical reward.

The seemingly frivolous likes proved highly significant.

Rather than Conclusion

For a reason, the term "currency" was included in the heading. There are so many likings for money, and significant proof of this are the trials that Instagram did this summer to conceal the many likes (and sometimes deposits). Facebook also began doing hiding tests towards the end of September 2019.

Bloggers and influencers from those nations where experiments were place were alarmed to observe that the coverage of posts decreased when the number of people under them was obscured. As a result, bloggers find it harder to show their sponsors that their blogs deserve advertising integration and money.

The peculiar frenzy around such buttons may have arisen because social media developers understood that they liked to be social networks' currency and wanted to dominate their "foreign exchange market" - to smash influencers' businesses and to shift "their" advertising money to themselves.

The possible hideout of the number of people who like a post causes distress to advertisers, bloggers and the media. It is currently hard to foresee if or whether social networks take control of the format and measurements of their liking. However, given that such a risk is evident, you must benefit from the likes if you are still free and squeeze them as much as possible.

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