Instagram to hide likes, do influencers need to worry?

by November 13, 2019 0 comments

After changing its name from Instagram to Instagram by Facebook, the popular instant photo-sharing app is planning to take yet another bold step – removing likes from a post. Instagram has already tested the option in select international markets and is about to roll the feature to other markets including India and the US.

The company tested hiding likes in countries such as Canada, Ireland and Australia. Since the inception of the app, likes on the post have been said to be directly proportional to the popularity of the user, for instance, the high number of likes on a post means that the user is more popular on the platform. Likes have also been a way to how celebrities, brands, and everyday users measure popularity and success. Instagram is now planning for a change as showing the number of likes on a post makes the platform a lot more addictive, reported Instagram from an internal survey. The majority of people involved in testing felt positive about the move and said it improved well-being.

Many industry experts have claimed Instagram as a highly addictive social networking app that negatively impacts mental health and body image.

While everyday users won’t be much worried about this step, but, influencers and bloggers might not like this move – as the only thing that measured their popularity (whether fake or real), Instagram is removing it. What it means is that the total number of likes on posts appearing as hearts will now be removed from Instagram’s main feed, profile pages, and permalink pages. However, the owner of the account can still see their likes, but their followers won’t know the count.

Would you be able to still like posts?

The answer is yes. Instagram users can still like content as they previously did either by double-tapping on the photo or video or by tapping on the ‘heart’ icon.

How likes will be displayed now?

Now, when someone following you liked someone else’s photo, the message will read ‘[name of Instagram account] and others’ below the post where likes normally appear. You can still see the list of accounts who have liked the post, but, won’t be able to the number of likes received.

How will this move impact influencers?

When brands want to interact with influencers the first thing they check is the number of likes and followers an account has. Removing likes could disappoint them and would force them to adapt to a new strategy.

In February, Instagram rolled out the “sensitivity screen” feature that blurs questionable pictures and put in video-thumbnails on the app until the user opts for. The feature was designed to reduce exposure of minors to self-harming and disturbing content on its platform,

The feature has already been available to select Indian users blocking images of cutting and self-harm that could surface in search, recommendations or hashtags, and influence minors into physical danger. The move comes soon after the British Health Secretary Matt Hancock issued a warning to Instagram to improve protection for young people on its platform or face legal action.

Instagram’s Head Adam Mosseri announced the introduction of “sensitivity screens” in an op-ed he wrote for The Telegraph, where he also expressed grief on the suicide of British teenager Molly Russell.

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