Instagram may have just changed the game they started. The photo sharing platform has started to hide likes that are usually shown under random user posts. It has no effect on all users for now, it is part of their ongoing tests to make Instagram a safer place on the Internet, but this may soon become the standard for Instagram.
Likes don’t disappear completely: they are simply hidden from followers. Users continue to see how many likes each post receives. In fact, visitors can still see who liked a post. In the same words of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “You can see who liked a photo or video, you can browse to see [the list] and if you have the time you can add them all by yourself.”
Instagram isn’t exactly eliminating likes, but it’s shifting its priorities now that it’s no longer in the foreground and at the center of every post. But the decision turned out to be controversial, above all for the influencers and the company accounts whose livelihoods depend on the value of these I like. Here are the latest Instagram news about hidden likes.
What’s so insecure about Instagram?
We get problems with privacy on Facebook and Instagram, but since when did they like security issues?
Instagram plans to make the platform safer and healthier for mental health, particularly for young people. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said: “The idea is to depressurise Instagram, make it less of a competition”, referring to the setting of users with sympathies and popularity.
This is part of a bigger push to reduce features that harm users’ mental health. Twitter is among the companies that are exploring whether to put like and retweet behind the touch of a user. Large technology companies like Google and Apple have also introduced tools to limit viewing time. Android devices also have timeout options to help control the amount of time spent on phones.
When it comes to toxic competitiveness, Mosseri and co. have a point. Removing the like button could prevent social media from being a popularity contest. Each post looks like a search for social approval.
Facebook and Instagram were the pioneers of social media as we know it today – a space where users thrive on attention. You will often see users posting pictures of food with infinite hashtags – “#food #foodporn #foodie #instafood #yummy # delicious …” – showing the extent of this fixation carefully. Undoubtedly it creates pressure on users to make sure that each post is up to standard.
With Like set aside, Instagram hopes that users can be more inclusive and authentic. Now, the content is cutting-edge, not its performance with everyone else.
What is the backlash?
On the other hand, the likes are not bad at all. They reflect public support, which gives credibility to accounts and posts.
Influencers, companies and those whose livelihoods depend on social media traction are under pressure from this sudden change. Many followers don’t necessarily mean many likes, which could act as a more reliable proxy for public approval or quality.
Once again, the value of likes has decreased due to bots and the purchase of followers. The change to Instagram could address this oversight in social media, but the fact remains that it would be significantly more difficult to search for influencers with genuine commitments.
Today more than ever, these companies have to worry about the real, which trends and contents generate the most interest. Instead of like it, they have to analyze it through different metrics and indicators. Alternative data already exist such as engagement rates, interactions and profile visits. These metrics could provide a more meaningful representation of the content that is important to users than I like it.
Without the pressure I like, we might even see content creators and companies become more creative. But all these changes require research, innovation and change in current practices, which is driving these groups crazy.
Instagram is protecting itself?
And, of course, another perspective is that this is a business move designed to keep Instagram’s boat afloat. Talking about his toxic social environment that makes his users unhappy could eventually make Instagram an unpopular place. Changing its practices could be the key to keeping users in the future, alleviating Facebook’s negative reaction in recent years.
Without I like it, users can no longer compare their posts with others, creating less pressure and negativity. It is more likely that you remain on the platform if the space is positive.
Keeping the likes away from the public makes Instagram even more powerful. It puts analytical services out of the competition and Instagram is in a unique position to provide such data. We don’t know if Instagram will monetize this information, but it’s a realistic possibility for a cynic.
Building a positive culture
Great technology could take steps to make social media a less toxic environment, but regardless of the changes made, it still starts with the user. We generate the content that influences mental health; this is no different despite the Instagram changes.
With likes out of the spotlight, the quality of post content is what matters most. Consider the message that each post sends to an audience. It is a small enigma of the culture we are creating.