Instagram became our go-to app whenever we want to share a photo or two. It has become extremely popular especially among young individuals that to date it has raked over one billion monthly active users. Even more, users are more inclined to delivering feed-goals especially to their followers. In the process, feed-goal profiles garnered more likes, more followers, hence more exposure.
To date, Instagram has been widely used by brands, companies, and influencers. They are tapping huge following accounts or high engagement accounts to publicly promote their products in exchange for something. Because of that market, Instagram users have started caring for their number of likes, and number of comments. Some have even been obsessed with these numbers as more than ever, the sense of one’s value can now be boxed in the number of likes of the photos in the platform. People have been accustomed to checking their Instagram profile minutes after they uploaded a photo. Some gets frustrated when it won’t reach their like expectations. Some even resort to buying likes and engagements just to stay ahead.
This has caused a lot of unnecessary stress and Instagram became toxic for some. This is something Instagram never wanted to promote to its users in the first place. Hence this year, they are now making a drastic change to address this growing concern. Instagram announced to hide the number of likes to their users from Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. It is testing this new feature to minimize the psychological impact of those numbers to its users.
The Instagram hide feature will hide the total number of likes on photos and videos on the main feed, profiles, and permalink pages. Owner of the account will still be able to see the likes on their photo. If they are going to look at other account’s photos, they won’t be able to see those numbers but rather the names that liked it. These names replaced the numbers that we have grown very familiar with. You can still click “others” to see the rest of the names but without the digits.
Hide Like Reactions
After rolling out this feature, there has been mixed reactions and arguments about it. Some applauded this hide feature while others don’t see the sense of hiding it.
Take for instance the sentiment of freelance photographer Chris Grundy. Chris like this new feature as users tend to appreciate a photo not by its aesthetics but the numbers of likes of the photo. Users are more inclined to compare resulting to mental health issues and psychological issues. Sasha Fekula, an American living in Sydney can’t seem to find the logic of hiding the number of likes as people can still count the number of likes by going to the likes section. This proves worthless for her.
From an expert’s point of view, Randi Priluck, professor and associate dean at Pace University that studies social media and mobile marketing has also mixed feelings with this feature. It is indeed great for users not to compare their popularity level with others yet the number of likes can also drive rewards. This can be construed as a way to create more authentic content. While others would still seek validation and approval with the number of likes.
There’s also a small pool that doesn’t mind this change. Erin Good for example knows the optimum Instagram posting time. Hence, Erin won’t post at 8:00 pm since everybody would be asleep. She posts on the best time she knows she will have a lot of exposure.
Instagram to date is still testing this hide feature before it adds in more countries to the pool. This is one of the many actions they have undertaken over the past year such as bullying and filtering offensive comments. Even if likes are hidden, tactless comments can still be seen and can prove more hurtful to the user.
All in all, Instagram is taking leaps in order to help address mental peace among its users. It is definitely a sure win considering that they have taken this seriously and are doing interventions that can mitigate such. Here’s us hoping to know the results of the test and Instagram’s move afterwards.