Can your Insta-audience really tell if that well-planned selfie was any good if you have no idea how many “likes” it has received? Instagram is making a bold move testing out a new feature that will hide likes, making it impossible for some users to see if pics are getting any love from their social media community.
CNN reports about the Instagram testing taking place in countries like Ireland, Brazil, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Because many Instagram users feel so much pressure to plan out and post the perfect picture, not getting a sought after amount of “likes” can cause even more mental stress than other platforms. One study found Instagram to be “the most detrimental social networking app” that can send negative messages about body image and self worth to its young users.
Events manager in Dublin, Cara McVeigh, knows firsthand how much thought and pressure kids are under to be “liked” on Instagram. McVeigh says, “My younger sisters are like 'Oh My God, would you go on and like my picture? Hardly anybody has liked it. I definitely think [removing likes] will take away from that pressure.”
The users who have been a part of the Instagram test so far have given positive feedback about disabling the “likes”. The way the new test works is it makes it so that others can not see how many likes you are getting. This is to ease the pressure on users who may compare themselves to other accounts, always feeling that they must win the popularity contest.
Though others can’t see your “likes”, the owner of the account can still see a list of people “liking” their pics, which to some is part of the problem. Sasha Fekula, a 23 year old living in Australia, thinks Instagram has only fixed part of the problem. She explains, “For teenagers, this is great because it would no longer highlight levels of popularity of themselves against other kids.But they're still going to see their own likes. People are very driven by rewards so they're still going to be competing for those likes. It's not going to fully solve the problem."
What do you think of Instagram testing out a program to hide “likes”?
Do you think this will help to relieve some stress around social media?