It’s a great idea to hide like counts on Instagram. However, the implementation of this idea hasn’t been as solid as its base idea.
Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, announced on Nov. 8 that Instagram will begin removing likes from their platform in the U.S. The hope of this move is to boost user morale from societal expectations, all while gutting a key feature for its users when it comes to “connecting” with one another.
Mosseri told WIRED about this push to remove likes, stating “We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health.”
On paper, this is a great step towards bettering young people’s mental health. On the contrary, with the removal of likes, this implementation misses a key step.
Even though Instagram will be removing your ability to see other people’s like counts on their posts, you will still be able to view your own likes.
This comes off as counter-intuitive. If the program aims to make users feel less pressured to get more likes, then why would Instagram keep the like counts on your personal posts?
Removing like counts on other people’s posts grants users with less incentive to “like” in the first place. This would lower like counts on your own posts, making engagement with your followers difficult and self deprecating with the lower like counts.
The idea to remove likes is a solid idea, but keeping them for your own viewing can be described as putting a Band-Aid on a bigger problem on the platform.
This problem that we have created sets unnecessary and unrealistic expectations on one another. The culture of Instagram is to get as many likes and engagements as possible, to make us feel better about ourselves.
We present the best sides of ourselves on apps such as Instagram. Setting up a points system based on an image you put forward about yourself is a recipe for extreme narcissism and eventual disappointment.
The real way for Instagram to fix this problem would be by removing all likes, even for personal viewing. With this, we can get back to our roots showing the best sides of ourselves without internet clout.
If Instagram continues to move in this direction, users of the platform could expect a completely different experience in the years to come. Our fingers are crossed that Instagram holds user interests in hand to squash an overbearing issue with younger people in our social climate.
Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay