In the last few weeks I have read a lot of articles around the subject of Instagram testing posts that don’t have the number of likes on display, and I have very mixed feelings about this new feature.
I read on Forbes today at the F8 Mosseri stated that this feature was set up in order to create a “less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.” And although I love this idea, the fact that the like count would still be visible to the person who posted the photo/video I feel it deflects the point. Although people won’t see how many likes others are getting, some will still be affected by the number of likes they receive regardless.
A second statement I read by Mosseri was “Another reason why Instagram is testing out this feature is that the number of like counts can create a false sense of engagement. There are many bots and services that exist which sends fake likes to posts.” However getting rid of the number of likes on display won’t prevent this problem, people will just look for validation in their number of followers. Those who currently pay for likes and pay for ads to promote their account, will move on to paying for followers instead. It’s happening already, there are so many girls who are trying to become ‘influencers’ and they pay for these followers but don’t have the likes/engagement to match.
Although it is a step in the right direction, I don’t feel like it’s been carefully thought about and I also don’t think likes are the problem we have here. People who are affected by the number of likes they receive will find something else, the problem is within and I think that’s why it’s so important to promote self-care, self-love and positive body image. Personally I don’t think changing features on Instagram is going to improve mental health, this issue is beyond that.
I would love to know your thoughts on this new test, and hear some other opinions.
Do you think this could improve mental health?
Would you like to see this become a permanent feature?