The ‘like’ count on Instagram

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Photo from BuzzinContent

Instagram is seemingly randomly testing removing the like count from posts

Bhoomi Sharma, Staff Writer

Social media has changed the world in many different ways. It has helped people communicate with other parts of the world, learn things they would not have even known of otherwise and made most things available for everyone with internet access. But along with these pros come some cons: different platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat can also pressure people, young and old, to meet a certain set of physical standards. One of these platforms is Instagram, a place where you can share photographs and videos and view those posted by other people. Recently, around June, 2019, Instagram changed an important part of the app: the ‘like’ count. The public can no longer see the ‘like’ count of pictures from other users. While the owner of the account is aware of the number of likes a picture receives, no one else is.

 

This feature is only in it’s trial process so far, and a handful of random accounts from a number of countries, including the US, have been chosen to test this feature. Adam Mosserri, currently serving as the head of Instagram, told Buzzfeed in an interview that Instagram was “about creating a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.” The change is meant to alleviate some of the pressure that comes from needing to perform for social media and the mental health strain that comes from the app. Stopping others from seeing how well received  a picture is is supposed to help people reconnect to their creative sides and just make things that they feel comfortable with.

 

However, many celebrity users and businesses that rely on Instagram do not approve of this new feature. Many creators rely heavily on the ‘like’ count being visible to their audiences so that more and more businesses can find them through their posts. It may damage their brand, since business see how well an entertainer’s career is doing by checking the like count on their pictures. When that is gone, businesses have no way of knowing if their content will be seen by enough people. Instagram has tweeted that they are making alternatives for creators, although how that will work has not been revealed yet. 

 

While Instagram has reported that perceptions will change, how much this change will help in the long run is unclear as of now.