Let’s be real, we all love Instagram. There’s nothing quite like the pride of taking a gorgeous photo – whether it’s a beautiful, scenic lakeside scene or your face – and seeing the likes roll in.
This month, however, Instagram has been criticized for promoting negative behaviour as it encourages Instagram users to chase engagement to measure their own self-worth.
In response to this criticism, Instagram is trialling hiding likes in an attempt to make people feel better about themselves and about the social media platform in general.
Despite having the best projected growth of any social media platform, Instagram is facing a decline in its number of followers as some users are moving away from social media in order to preserve their well-being.
Studies are showing that social media can be really damaging, especially to young people that now struggle to differentiate what’s on their newsfeeds to genuine reality.
This initial trial run will consist of hiding total likes on photos and view counts on videos in your follower’s Instagram feeds or when visiting a user’s profile. The access to metrics will still be available however - the account owner will be able to access their own and check the total number of likes or views for a specific photo or video. To access these metrics the account owner will just have to tap through the post.
By doing this, the platform is hoping to make people focus on the content more than on the engagement they are going to get, helping people’s mental health and self-worth at a time when social media is impacting them most.
To make its platform less pressurized, Instagram will introduce the “private likes” test later this week for users in Canada during the Facebook’s annual developers conference.
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