In an effort to make Instagram less competitive, less pressurized and more personal, the social media app has decided to test a new feature – publicly hiding likes and views.
Earlier this May, Instagram started testing the removal of numeric like counts in Canada, and this week, six more countries have been added. In addition to Canada, users in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand will no longer be able to view the number of likes and video views on other users’ posts. Users will still be able to view who liked someone else’s post or viewed their video, but there will no longer be a numeric value publicly displayed. Although users will not be able to view the likes and view counts of everyone else’s posts, they will still be able to view like and video view counts for their own posts.
“We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition. We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people they care about,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said last April at Facebook’s annual event for developers.
Most users have welcomed the change, in the hopes that young people will start detaching their self worth from the number of likes they see on a screen. While some are very supportive of this change to promote mental health and reduce social comparison, some users feel like this change could ultimately be the death of Instagram. Not seeing likes could lead to less interaction overall, which could be detrimental to an interactive platform such as Instagram.
So what does this mean for Instagram users, influencers, and brands? Obviously, it will be a lot harder to assess analytics from a marketing standpoint, but advocating for mental health is always important and worth experimenting. Instagram is dedicated to creating a healthier environment, even at the expense of declining performance metrics. It will be interesting to see how implementing this huge change will impact the overall user experience.
– Brittney Au
Associate Art Director