Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, stated that likes will be hidden for U.S. users as soon as next week. Instagram has already tested removing likes internationally in Canada, Ireland, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Japan, and Brazil.
Mosseri says the idea behind this is to create more engagement amongst users and to turn the focus more on what is being posted and not on how many likes the post has.
“The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them, but it’s really focused on young people,” Mosseri said.
I do agree that children these days are exposed to a lot more with these social media platforms and their interaction with social media platforms can be somewhat negative. That is a lot of pressure being put on young children and they can in many ways feel they need to compete with their peers.
The response to this new decision has been both negative and positive. Some influencers like Kim Kardashian feel this is a good change while celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Juicy J do not agree with the change.
This will take some getting used to since likes have been on Instagram since the very beginning. Instagram in many ways has become very competitive. Influencers are competing for the best and the biggest brand deals and smaller influencers are trying to get on that level. At the same time, a little competition can be good and can push people to create unique content that can attract a lot of attention. Brands can see how much attention influencers are getting by their likes, comments, and views which can bring in more revenue for the influencer.
I do believe that this new change will promote more interaction which adds a more authentic feel to the platform. If someone is taking the time to comment on a picture or a video, then you can see what content is more appealing to your followers and what content gets a larger response. Likes, while good, can be pretty tricky because sometimes one post gets more likes than another, but you really don’t know the reason behind it. It could be because of the time you decided to post your content or it could be because they find liking it to be less time consuming than commenting. There could be a plethora of reasons behind a liked post.
I think is does take the pressure off of posting because even I have been guilty of not posting a picture because I didn’t feel it would get as many likes as another picture. With this option, now you can post what you want regardless. This might turn into the new Tumblr. Who knows.
I am excited to see the type of content being posted when likes are hidden. There might be a complete shift in the type of content people post.