Instagram is taking steps to stop its users from constantly competing for likes. The newest alteration to the popular social media platform means no number of likes will appear under a photo, but the owner of the post will be able to see the amount of likes received.
This new measure is in response to how competitive the race for likes has become on the app. Likes have become the new way of determining whether a post is a success or not, but it has also led to increased societal pressures and bullying of those who may not get enough. The pressure to get likes has been shown to decline one’s perception of well-being, with many users left spiraling with envy after exiting out of the app.
This new change, which so far has only been released in Australia, will impact Instagram Influencers most of all. Influencers rely on likes to gain sponsorships and remain “verified”. Not showing how many likes influencer posts receive may de-legitimize their social media standing and lead to a loss of endorsements, which many rely on, according to a Gartner L2 report on the topic.
Despite how this may hinder influencers, Instagram is making the change with the mental health of users in mind. Removing public likes will bring the focus of the app back to sharing pictures and moments rather than acting as a popularity contest between Instagrammers.