Instagram has recently announced that it will no longer display the number of likes on all posts starting with 7 countries.
This announcement that had put many influencers on edge came last week and the move is currently on trial in the following countries: Australia, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
All is not lost. You can still like posts that you, well, like. And you can still see everyone that liked your posts. What you now can’t see is the total number of likes that other posts received. Instead you will see “liked by”. Make sense?
So what is the reason for this bold and drastic move you may ask. Here’s what Instagram has to say:
We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. ~Instagram
According to Instagram, this move is to encourage users to post more by removing social pressure that one gets from counting the number of likes on their posts.
Let’s admit it, we all have experienced our hearts skipping a beat every time we received a ‘like’ on our Instagram or Facebook posts. To many social media users, the number of likes, be it in the form of hearts or thumbs up, is a good indicator of their social standing. It perhaps offers a certain approval and validation that is sought after by many especially younger adults. The bigger the number of likes, the more validated a person feels. Popularity contest much?
Although no doubt it is a great way for businesses to promote brand awareness among your friends through the ‘like’ that you’ve given to their posts, to the wellbeing of the individual users however, it may have a detrimental effect.
And on that note, a recent survey (https://www.rsph.org.uk/about-us/news/instagram-ranked-worst-for-young-people-s-mental-health.html) discovered that Instagram is the worst social media platform for mental health and wellbeing as it is associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, and fear of missing out. Yikes.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” said Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, Mia Garlick in a statement.
“We are now rolling the test out to Australia so we can learn more about how this can benefit people’s experiences on Instagram, and whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.”