Welp, every influencer’s worst nightmare has officially come true: Instagram is getting rid of Likes, and the app’s creators are beginning to roll out the early stages of the feature to some select users. Egad!
But if you aren’t an influencer and are feeling fatigued from the pressure that comes with getting the most Likes and curating a picture perfect, color-coordinated feed, the good news here is that Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is on your side.
According to Adam, the reason why he and the app’s developers decided to remove Likes is because they want people who use the app to be happy. “We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health....It means we’re going to put a 15-year-old kid’s interests before a public speaker’s interest,” he told Wired. “When we look at the world of public content, we’re going to put people in that world before organizations and corporations.”
If this sounds great to you and makes you wonder, Wait, why haven’t my Instagram Likes been removed yet?—patience, young grasshopper. Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram’s Like removal, and when you can expect it to affect you.
Who got their Instagram Likes removed first?
Instagram first announced it was going to test hiding Likes in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand back in April. You might remember this as the very dramatic (but not at all serious sounding) “Like count ban” that caused Australian influencer Mikaela Testa to break down in tears when it went live back in July—you can’t make this sh*t up!
What does having no Instagram Likes look like?
Instead of quantifying the amount of Likes a user gets on a post, Instagram will now publicly show “Liked by [insert user here] and others.” The user will be able to see how many Likes they get on their post in their profile, but only if they choose to do so.
Why is Instagram hiding Likes?
Well, this is a bit of a loaded question. It’s no secret that prolonged social media usage can be bad for your mental health, right? Last year, Healthline reported that a study found a casual link between social media and negative effects on well-being such as depression and loneliness, which says a lot.
As a result, Adam came up with the idea of hiding Likes so people can stop comparing themselves to others, worry less about missing out, and focus more on developing genuine connections with one another.
“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many Likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about,” he said at Facebook’s annual software developer conference in 2018. “We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition.”
When will my Instagram Likes be hidden?
If you’re located in the United States, chances are you know someone who already has their Likes hidden! Business Insider reported last week that the hidden Likes feature has already started to roll out, so you may very well be next!
Can I opt out?
Sorry—you can’t choose if you want your Instagram Likes hidden or not.
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