Have you ever regretted uploading a photo because it didn’t receive the number of likes you wanted? Do you constantly compare the like count of other friends’ photos, or take hours to nail the perfect shot for Instagram? You’re not alone, but all this constant pressure and worrying might soon come to a close. Instagram has decided to do a trial to hide like count in several countries, including Australia, Japan, and Brazil.
Design Of The Trial
In this trial, Instagram will hide the total number of people who have liked posts from public and friends’ views. All that will be seen is a user name “and others.” The only people who will be able to see the actual total like count is the individual who posted the photo.
Like Count Affects Mental Health
The reason for this trial is due to the fear that “social media may be fueling a mental health crisis.” A UK snapshot survey found that of all the social media apps available, Instagram was voted worst for self esteem and well-being for people aged 14-24.
This hit to mental health comes from a variety of factors. Self comparisons to photos (often photoshopped), a competition for likes, and online bullying are just some of the many sources for anxiety and depression on Instagram. As a result, the company has felt immense pressure to improve the app for its users’ mental health.
Directors’ Goals For The Hidden Like Count Trial
According to Mia Garlick, Facebook director of policy in Australia and New Zealand, “We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.”
The trial originally began in Canada, to which the country’s Facebook director Adam Mosseri said they wanted to promote more connection between users. “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.”
Positive And Negative Outcomes
The like count has often been equated to ones’s level of popularity and success. Consequently, erasing this tally is likely to improve the self-esteem of those who felt inadequate for their photos’ low like count. However, it may make those who typically had popular posts feel worse for having nothing to show of it.
For those who use Instagram for business purposes, the company said the trial would not affect the measurement tools.
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