Instagram to remove like counts in the U.S
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has made a major announcement today at the WIRED25 conference that like counts in Instagram posts will be removed at certain regions in the United States as part of a long-term test program.
In the interview, he specifically mentioned the detail in response to a question that is related to the ever-changing engagement metrics on social media platforms. Adam Mosseri specifically stated:
“It’s about young people, the idea is to depressurize Instagram. Make it less of a competition. Give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love. Things that inspire them. But it’s really focused [about] young people.“
The idea seems to be that since social media has been this ever-escalating platform of comparison, the young people, who presumably are most affected, become seemingly swept by social media engagement competitions in the form of like counts. At least, that is the idea from a detached perspective.
Of course, those who own the accounts that make the updates and posts will still be able to see the like counts as normal. Only like counts of other Instagram users will be hidden from the original account owner.
Instagram has actually already been implementing tests on hiding like counts for quite a while. As revealed in the same interview, tests have already been conducted in countries like Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, as well as Canada, where it was first conducted.
The roll-out of the new feature is expected to come as early as next week. However, it is uncertain as to which regions of the United States will this be implemented. It is also unknown if the specific states or regions will be announced as they are rolled out within the next few days.
So, if you’re in the U.S., and you suddenly see the like counts of your favorite artist or person disappear, don’t fret. Its a feature, not a bug.
Instagram to remove like counts in the U.S
Instagram is hiding the number of likes on posts in several countries, including Australia and Japan, in order to “remove pressure” on users.
At the moment, Instagram users see a running total of people who have liked a post. In the trial, users will see a user name “and others” below posts.
Instagrammers can still view the number of likes their own posts receive.
There is concern social media platforms can contribute to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy in young people.
Instagram launched a similar trial in Canada in May and the new test is rolling out in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil, the company told the BBC.
“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,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement.
The goal, she adds, is that users feel less judged and to see “whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story”.ADVERTISEMENT
Instagram said the test would not affect measurement tools for businesses. And users can still see the list of people who liked other people’s content by clicking into it.
When the test was first run in Canada, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the aim was to minimise the stress of posting online with users competing over the number of likes their posts receive.
“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 that they care about,” he explained at the time.
The number of likes a post gets is a measure of success or popularity on Instagram.
Studies suggest this kind of instant feedback on content can boost people’s self-esteem but bring others down if they do not get as many likes.
Studies have linked social media platforms to affecting mental health, especially of young people.
The number of likes is also the way to put value on a post for the business side of Instagram.
Influencers who get paid for the content they showcase in their posts are measured by the number of likes their social media activity draws.
Earlier this month, Instagram also revealed a new feature to tackle online bullying.