Instagram to get rid of likes due to rising competitiveness
Earlier this month, Instagram came out stating that they were testing hiding the like count on user’s pictures, in an effort to make their site more focused on the content posted, rather than the popularity of a post. What would be the benefits of this new approach to Instagram? Would we feel less inclined to feel jealous about other user’s posts getting more likes than ours?
Whilst trialling a test for this new format in Canada, Instagram have released a statement stating that ‘we want followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shared it will see the total number of likes it gets’. And now in a more recent effort to focus on user’s content than their status online, Instagram are now following in Twitters footsteps, in trialling hiding user’s follower counts on some profiles.
Needless to say, there have been mixed reactions to the possible update, Whereas some people are glad to have been shot of the social pressure to gain more likes and followers, others have hit out at the trial, with one user even stating ‘Instagram you are doing very stupid things and you have no shame’.
Regardless of the backlash, Instagram seems to be determined on providing a more friendly experience to their users, and want to change the perspective of what Instagram should be used for. Users are still able to open a window to see which of their followers have liked their post, but it’s much more of a personal experience, rather than it being public knowledge of how many likes somebody has received on a photo.
A lot of people are welcoming this change, As it takes a lot of the pressure away from the idea of social media, instead of having an online popularity contest, users can now express their identities and post pictures relevant to them and who they are on this platform without worrying about taking it down due to a lack of likes or engagement.
One of the biggest arguments against this change has come from the influencers on Instagram, whose massive portion of their income comes from the amount of engagement they receive from their posts, so this new approach to Instagram could cause a massive problem for them to overcome. Whilst this presents quite a big threat for influencers getting discovered and promoting brands online, Instagram have said that ‘We understand that this is important for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for them to communicate value to their brand partners,”
This new re vamp for Instagram has come of the back off their stance on bullying, the company stated earlier this year that ‘Instagram doesn’t just want to stop bullying, but lead the internet’s battle against it’ in hopes to make the online community a less toxic and more inclusive space for all of its users.
The test is still in development, and it’s too early to predict if this new approach will be successful and take hold of the mainstream, but for now the company seems to be making a conscious effort to make their site more user friendly, and about the content on their page, not the people posting it.
Hopefully we will see less toxic relationships formed on Instagram in the coming years, and a better place to communicate, share ideas, express and encourage individuality.
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