Instagram is now testing the removal of likes on a global scale, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Social media has always been the biggest accessible platform for anybody to post any content they like. Regardless if it’s their music, video, or even just a photo of themselves. And while it has been such a great platform to boost one’s confidence with regard to their craft and self-esteem, we can’t deny the fact that it has also been a detrimental factor in user’s mental health—from becoming envious to insecurities.
With that said, Instagram finally made its move to solve the mental health crises that are happening globally caused by social media’s vanity metric. After the photo and video sharing networking app removed the “Following” feature where your followers can see the posts you’ve like and commented at, it seems that the “Like” feature is next.
Instagram initially tested hiding the likes in seven countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. And after getting positive feedback the Facebook-owned company saw it as a fundamental change to depressurize the platform. It wants to shift the focus away from making Instagram feel “like a competition” where users compete to see the number of likes they can rack up. Hence, they will slowly be implementing it on a global scale.
According to Instagram’s tweet on November 14, “Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own.”
However, what would this mean for content creators who solely rely on influencer and/or social media marketing? Instagram clarified that they “understand that like counts are important for many creators, [so they] are actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.”
In the long run, this move will definitely change the ball game of user engagements on social media. But most importantly, this signals the need for everyone to stop using mere “likes” to validate ourselves.