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Instagram May Be Getting Rid of ‘Likes’ On Platform

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What would Instagram be without its likes? Well for some users they are about to find out. Facebook recently announced plans for testing in Canada with the total number of likes on photos and videos being hidden. Whilst followers won’ t be able to see the total number of likes a post has received the owner of the account would still be able to.

Instagram cites the reason for this test update if to have users concentrate on their content and posts rather than feeling the pressure to rack up likes. Many studies have been conducted on the culture surrounding social media and the unhealthy obsession with “likes” and comparison to others online. Not getting enough likes can even affect some users’ self-esteem. According to some studies, Instagram is the most detrimental social networking app for young people’s mental health.

The hope is by getting rid of the liking part of the app it could reduce some of these negative affects about getting enough likes on a post and eliminate the competition to have the most “likeable post.” This could increase authenticity across posting and could be a benefit for many.

“Likes are powerful because they are immediate feedback,” said Renee Engeln, a psychology professor at Northwestern University. “In a way, likes give you the same kind of hit like a gambler gets at a slot machine.”

While a benefit for many, some influencers have expressed concern about their feed rankings in the algorithm and their source of income. There are currently no plans to hide follower counts on profiles, which are the main source for sponsorships for influencers.

As a result, comments, follower counts or other metrics could become more important to people making money on Instagram.

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