Instagram is going anti-influencer and is testing hiding your likes
- The Facebook-owned photo sharing app announced it is running a test in Canada starting later this week that hides the total number of likes on photos and videos
- While followers won't be able to see the total number of likes a post has received, the owner of the account still can
- Many say the change would refocus Instagram on self-expression instead of being a popularity contest
- “We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get”
Calm down people, it’s only a test for now. But your Instagram experience as you know it is about to change forever. The popular social media app revealed at its F8 developer conference that it will start testing a new feature later this week. So what's the problem? The biggest change will be that the app will hide users’ public like counts on videos and photos.
The test will only be in Canada, for now, and likes will be hidden in the Feed, permalinked pages, and on profiles. Instagram says it wants followers to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
But there's only one person who can see the likes on the account and that's you.
The reason why the tests are being run in Canada according to TechCrunch is because “Canadians are highly social and tech savvy, with over 24 million people connecting across our family of apps each month. We wanted to test this with a digitally savvy audience that has a thriving community on Instagram.”
This has raised many an eyebrow with social media influencers who often use Intagram for paid promotions.
But that's not the only thing the company is testing out.
This is the lowdown of everything the company wants to test:
"A new “nudge” feature will warn users if they’re about to comment something hurtful. The test stops short of censorship while still addressing bullying before it happens. “Away Mode” will encourage users to take a break from Instagram at intense times in their life, like moving to a new school. They don’t have to delete their account, but can still get a break from constant notifications and concerns about how they look. “Manage Interactions” will allow users to set limits on how certain people interact with them without having to block them completely. Maybe you don’t want someone to be able to comment on your posts, but still Like them. Or you’re cool with them seeing your photos but don’t want to get DMs from them."
In an age where social media following and the number of likes on a post/photo is seen as an indication of popularity and influence, but is this a sign that the app is putting its users' mental health before its own popularity?
The Guardian reports, "In April, the Information Commissioner’s Office proposed limiting likes for under-18s as part of its 16-rule code on age-appropriate online services, though this was less to do with any focus on the damaging effects of comparing numbers of likes, and more with preventing data collection and targeted advertising with regard to young users. Likes have become so devalued that a picture of an egg holds the record for winning the most."
However, only time will tell if the popular social media app will actually implement this new hide likes feature on a global scale. We're pretty sure the influencers are waiting with bated breath to find out when this will happen.