Image sharing platform, Instagram, has been struggling to change its unwritten identity as a popularity contest app. It is widely known that almost all Instagram users use the app to “show-off” how good their life is, which is good and all but has the unintended consequence of leaving other users feeling inadequate.
As much as whether we should let what other people post on social media affect our mental health is still an ongoing debate, Instagram has been making strides towards ensuring that the platform becomes more friendly to all users without coming forth as a competitive app.
Initially, Instagram made changes to how it displays the number of followers a user has on their profile in an effort to draw attention from the follower count to the content. The company is back at it again, this time around going after the famous like button.
Don’t worry, they are not getting rid of the like button, however, Instagram is testing a new change that will remove the number of likes from the public eye. This means that you will be able to see who liked a post but Instagram will not display the total number of likes that particular post has, as seen below:
This new change is meant to encourage “self-expression” rather than a battle of who gets the most likes. “Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profile. We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” said an Instagram spokesperson, while speaking to TechCrunch.
Immediately, there’s concern over those Influencers who have a made a career out of those Instagram likes, since clients engage them based on how many likes their posts get. However, Instagram says that they are working on alternative ways for Influencers to showcase their value to brands, “We understand that this is important for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for them to communicate value to their brand partners,” says the spokesperson.
This is one change that will shake up Instagram more than the algorithmic timeline ever did. What do you think will be the effects of such a change? Will people post more without the pressure of getting a certain number of “likes”?