Instagram will be hiding likes. What does this mean for you?
Author: Daniela Barrera-Garza
There has been considerable attention on the story that Instagram users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand will no longer be able to see how many likes they get. The change will only affect those countries at the moment, as Instagram is training this to see if removes the pressure off digital platform’s users.
The change will not affect business analytics measurements for users on Instagram. All likes and engagement metrics will still be available for business accounts on their insights tab.
Instagram wants users to focus on photos and videos sharing, as opposed to focusing on how many likes they get. Users will still be able to see how many likes their post has received by tapping on the list of who liked them. Others viewing your post will not be able to see the number of likes. Instagram wants their platform to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves, rather than feeling judged.
Facebook Australia and New Zealand Director of Policy, Mia Garlick, said: “We are rolling the test out in Australia, so we can learn more about how this can benefit people’s experiences on Instagram, and whether this change can help users focus less on likes and more on being creative and telling their story.”
Australia along with the six other countries, were among those chosen for the trial because they have a fast-growing, tech-savvy audience. With millions of highly engaged people on Instagram, makes them an ideal focus group to test this out on. A decision of whether to make this update permanent or not will be made at a later date. Instagram will use this data to see if they should implement it to other countries, or get rid of the update.
Since the update was released to the public on 17 July 2019; it has sparked a lot of conversation on social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Initially there is a balance of opinions shared amongst users in favour and those opposed to the change. Some users think this will help take the pressure off a "like" based mentality; whilst others view the change as pointless and would prefer Instagram to revert back to chronological order, as opposed to the current algorithm.
More importantly, is this change an indication that Instagram is responding to concerns on online bullying and social anxiety and demonstrating a move towards a more socially ethical platform?
How do you feel about the new change? Are you in favour or opposed to the change? Share your views with us.