Instagram has recently begun to test its new strategy of hiding the number of likes users’ posts are getting in certain places. Do you think it’s a good idea?
What are the changes?
Although Instagram has not yet officially announced whether or not this change will happen to all users anytime soon, it has nevertheless decided to extend the testing of the new function to six countries: Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. For the affected users, Instagram hides the likes from all except the owner of the post itself. There is no way to prevent this from happening: if Instagram selects your account, you won’t be able to do anything until the end of the test.
Why are they doing this?
The intention of the social media platform is clear: to remove the pressure of having to post things that will perform well in terms of likes in order to maintain popularity. A world with less anxiety about social media popularity is surely a noble goal, but is this the best way to achieve it?
Recently, Instagram introduced serious measures to combat digital bullying, which may be better suited to making the platform a more comfortable and happy place for its users. These measures include: an AI-powered feature which notifies people that their comment may be offensive before they post it, and the ability to ‘shadow ban’ bullies with a feature called Restrict.
For some users, especially influencers and businesses that rely on Instagram to make money, these changes could actually be a detrimental thing since likes are a form of social currency nowadays. (Luckily, there is a workaround for now: you can see the number of likes for any post on the official Instagram website from your desktop browser instead of the mobile app.)
Do you think hiding the number of likes will make Instagram a better place? Or will it make the platform less popular? Let us know your thoughts in the poll and in the comments below!
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