In January, Kylie Jenner, who held 18 million likes on Instagram at the time, was surpassed by the stock image of an egg in terms of the number of likes! For a significant amount of time, this became the talk of the street. The number of likes holds immense significance to the people but it’s not particularly beneficial.
If you consult anyone about what’s the most prevalent problem on social media, especially amongst the teenagers, it would be the numbers. The number of likes and followers. People now seek for social validation on Instagram and often times, lower number of likes makes them overly conscious. This has been touted as one of the reasons for mental unhappiness.
It seems that Instagram is not unaware of this and thus it’s taking some measures. Jane Manchun Wong revealed that Instagram is indeed testing hiding the like count from the general public. The author of the post might be the only person to see the total number of likes the post has harnessed. Instagram has reportedly stated in its app “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get”.
If this update is rolled out, it will indeed promote some good values amongst the users. Perhaps, then, the number of likes won’t matter that much to the people and thus they’ll be able to focus again on their actual content. People on these platforms might just be able to really appreciate what they like rather than just tapping away on the screen. Moreover, we might just finally get freedom from being pestered to like our friends’ pictures just because they want to subtly flaunt the number of likes.
Also, Instagram has reportedly confirmed that this is an internal test which is not available for the public to see. A major question is how the brands will be affected by this change. Popularity is often termed as a distinguishing factor for brands. More popular brands have more likes and thus how we, as users, will be able to differentiate remains a question. Whether or not this change will be incorporated into the app is currently unclear. We’ll have to wait for Instagram to make its move regarding this.