Instagram likes
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What you need to know:

  • Instagram is testing removing like counts from people's posts.
  • Users can see their own likes but will be unable to see the like counts ofother profiles.
  • The photo sharing application is trying to see of this helps improve stress levels, reduces anxiety and increases self-worth.

Dubai: Is Instagram doing away with showing users how many people have ‘liked’ a post? This might be a possibility. Instagram has started testing hiding like counts.

With this move, the photo-sharing app hopes to reduce anxiety, low self-esteem and stress among users, which stems from not receiving too many likes on the platform.

How does this work?

Don’t worry, you will still be able to see how many people have liked your own posts, but, when you visit another profile, the like count on their pictures and videos will be unavailable.

The company is not completely doing away with the ‘like’ option in the testing phase, according to American news website Buzzfeed News.

The report stated that Instagram’s “private likes” test would begin in Canada, later this week, as a part of Facebook’s annual developer’s conference.

The head of Instagram Adam Mosseri told Buzzfeed News that the test was about “…creating a less pressurised environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves”. The move also helps to shift focus on content rather than engagement.

He added that Facebook could still consider to remove likes and views counts entirely, in the future.

An Instagram spokesperson told Gulf News: "Starting this week, we're running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages, and Profile. We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get."

In a video posted by Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Facebook at the F8 developer conference, steps to ensure better privacy and more “private interactions” were discussed. Zuckerberg talked about the new changes users will experience on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and how it was going to help their experience.

Social media reactions:

The news had many people on social media divided. While some agreed that it was a good move, others said it went against the concept of Instagram - to get likes and engagement.

Tweep @AlexBrangwin posted: “ they know [that likes are the] only reason people use Instagram?”

User @Seriouslymoi posted: "Brilliant idea which should be adopted by @Twitter pronto."

And tweep @diomicordero posted: “This will not work for influencers or anyone who makes an income through Instagram. They need to showcase activity and ‘results’. Likes, views, etc. Engagement.”

UAE residents respond:

Dubai resident and regular Instagram user Farheen Hassan thinks the new move is a great initiative.

The 23-year-old said: “Instagram has increasingly become a medium for people to build an online image, just for the purpose of gaining followers. The current culture of influencers, and celebrities lying about their real body, features, and life just to create an image of perfection for their followers can be toxic, and it might be worth trying to reduce this.”

She added that this puts pressure on individuals as they feel like they need constant validation from people online.

“I do think this move might reduce Instagram’s popularity because social validation is one of the primary reasons people use that application.”

Dubai resident Raunak Ajwani is not an active Instagram user but said this new change could be “positive for personal accounts … and definitely better for the mental health of those that are caught in the vanity of social media”.

However, the 24-year-old said that this move “might end up affecting celebrities more than your average consumer.”

Sharjah resident Wasif Naushad thinks Instagram’s test will encourage people to post more creative content.

He said: “Right now there is a worry that if I post something, it may not get enough likes and may not get noticed. However, if the likes are hidden and only shown to the user, it might make them post more experimental content.”

The company will elaborate on the the possibility of implementing this new feature after the test in Canada.