I’m not sure more than a few seconds passed by from the moment Instagram changed it’s formatting to when I found out. In fact, with me and my job, I was on Instagram when it stopped working for a couple of minutes I guess while it implemented these updates!
So, what happened again??
Instagram removed the ability to see how many likes someone else’s post receives in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil
Before this change, you were able to see exactly how many people liked someone else’s post and who these people were. Now, it will tell you if someone you know likes the post, but not of how many others. It merely says “and others” like this post.
So, I have known more than a few people who wouldn’t feel great if their posts didn’t receive enough likes and at times I have felt like this myself. With this feature, it sort of, removes this feeling. Which is weird, right? I mean I know I am not alone when it comes to thinking about how much social media pushes or pulls at someone’s self esteem through mediums such as ‘likes and comments’ and the number of followers someone has. However I kind of thought that this was driving the traffic and repeat traffic to these platforms. So without the addiction to likes encouraging people to post, what will be the driving factor to Instagram?
Instagram says that the reason they have done this is to reduce the amount of social pressure that is put on the users of the platform, and they want people to instead focus on actually connecting with one another. They want people to “focus less on likes and more on telling their story“. I think that it could have something to do with the fact that Instagram was rated as the worst social platform for young people’s mental health, and of course they may want to change their image there too…
In my opinion, this is a great move in regards to protecting the mental health of the people using this platform however, I do see a downside. When a post has higher engagement, or a higher amount of likes, it builds a sort of community for the person who may like a post too. They can see how many people also like that kind of content too, and feel like they are part of a community of like minded people. That being said, maybe this will encourage people to comment on posts instead, in order to get that same feeling.
Whatever happens, I am really interested to see the outcome of this test in our countries, to see what the overall effect is on the users of Instagram (including myself). Does this affect you at all? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!