In a move to make social media a little less toxic, Instagram will roll out a test to US users that hide the total number of Instagram likes on a post to the public.
Positive feedback has been provided from other users that have already tested out life without Instagram likes. But increasing the positivity many of us are wanting to see in social media usage, it’s going to take more than hiding likes.
It’s important to note this is just a test that will impact only select users. The user themselves will be able to see their own likes but to their followers and other outsiders, they will not be visible.
The test will start this week and does not interfere with you liking other people’s content. Users will still see if anyone they follow has interacted with that post.
It’s refreshing to see a social platform with as much power and influence take a step towards helping mitigate some of the FOMO or feelings of inadequacy that has been cultivated through this app.
We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health,” Adam Mosseri, Instagram CEO
Likes will still be viewable to each of us on our personal photos. Influencers need not worry because these numbers can be provided to any company when you are seeking out a brand deal or collaboration of sorts.
Brands may have to rework their influencer or affiliate programs, but to me, it’s a small price to pay if it will aid in creating a more positive environment.
Users can still place importance on the amount of likes they get. Thankfully though, for the time being at least, there would be no one to compare that too.
The highlight reel effect would also still be persisting in full force. Most of us post on Instagram when we’re feeling ourselves. Or are on this cool vacation and want to show off a little. All of which is fine. But we need to encourage and support posts that aren’t as glamorous. We need to post those too.
Any step taken with the mental health of others in mind is something I will always support. Instagram is my favorite app. I love seeing the photos other people chose to take and post. But I too have gone on social media when I’m not in the best headspace and exited feeling less than pleased about myself.
I’ve deleted photos when I didn’t get as many likes as I felt I should have by that point. Because if it wasn’t getting likes, it wasn’t worth it right?
I’m excited to see where this test goes. With its rapid expansion, it’s easy to assume the test will move into permanent territory. Soon we’ll all be saying, “Instagram likes who?”
Cover image courtesy of Search Engine Journal
Also published on Medium.