The social stress and pressure of social media are endless. The wish to overpower each other has made social media platforms a place of intense competition. This competition naturally makes some succeed, and others fail. The failure often results in anxiety if it crossed its usual limit. This is why there are many measures that are taken by various social media platforms in order to reduce such worries.
Facebook, the most popular social networking site has admitted in 2017 that social pressure proposes risk on the mental health of people. Twitter, on the other hand, has recently decided to add a warning to those tweets which are offending in some or the other way. Moreover, there have been games such as Blue Whale which cause so much pressure to people who have ended up committing suicide as a part of this game. There have been many intensified situations.
Similarly, Instagram has been trying to reduce this stress of social media by hiding out the number of likes that are visible on a post. The main outcome of this attempt is to observe if this decision helps in reducing the stress of social media on people or not. The goal of the platform does not seem unachievable, but the question that arises is that would people agree to accept it or condemn Instagram resultantly.
The attempt has come into focus in six countries in previous days, which are Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland, Brazil, and Australia. This is just a part of the testing process before the final decision is made. As a part of the same test, users of Canada have also been prevented from seeing the number of likes on the Instagram posts done by the people they follow.
After the test of the giant, the main question which is popping up in everyone’s mind is that what is the main motive behind such a big decision and how people would react to this huge amendment? Will the people prefer to watch their content without any like or they just send their feedbacks to the site?
The actual reaction of people would revolve around the result of likes, influencers impact as well as the stress-free Instagram.
The users, however, will be able to see the names of the people who have liked the photos or the videos or would have viewed the videos on a post. The change is only made with likes visibility. The account holder can still count the people who have viewed their posts.
The likes and video views will only be shown to the users on their own posts, which simply means that the account owner can only view the number of likes on their post rather than the entire followers.
The users might get anxious when they don’t get the number of likes on the post as the habit of seeing likes on posts was developed since the beginning. However, with time, the changes will be adapted, and people will become comfortable with the advent of time.
What would Instagram be like if people couldn’t see how many likes fellow users’ posts receive?
“We are expanding the test to get a better sense of how the experience resonates with Instagram’s global community,” a Facebook spokesperson said this with reference to the Facebook-owned app.
The people of Instagram or the app itself did not claim anything, neither the advanced notice is made regarding the amendments that are introduced in Canada. Moreover, it is also not clear for how long these testing will take place.
It was later in the month of April, when Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram announced that this testing of hiding the number of likes on Instagram would be initiated in Canada. This announcement was made at Facebook’s annual event, which was held for the developers.
Mosseri further said that the main focus of the site is to let the users feel free to post pictures and videos without any stress of winning the competition on the social platform. He said, “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 they care about.”
Recently, Mosseri also said that the test is going to be expanded to six more countries. This was done through a tweet that he posted.
The testing of hiding likes is the result of various elements that are evolved in social media platforms’ competition as well as stress. The experiment is simply done to remove the depression or anxiety that users face on Instagram to get the maximum likes on their posts. YouTube has also recently made changes in its way of displaying the subscribers’ counts on a channel. Twitter, on the other hand, has decided to not report its “monthly active user” count to the investors.
Troy Sivan, the Australian singer, has come to support this change made by Instagram to hide the number of likes on the posts. Other reactions by the users have been mixed, partly in support and partly against. Troy Sivan, who has more than 10 million followers on Instagram, said on Twitter that “happy that young people aren’t going to base their self-worth/the worth of content they love from a number on a screen.”
On the other hand, Rozanna Purcell, an Irish model who has around 3,00,000 followers on Instagram, is also in favor of this change done by Instagram. She said, “I get so many messages of young girls in school who say how down they are and feel like they’re not good enough because their peers get more likes than them…we have enough things in society to compare ourselves to, so getting rid of numbers can only be a good thing.”
Still, there are some who disagree and are dissatisfied with this change introduced by Instagram. To name a person like that, Adam Liaw, who is an Australian based chef, having an Instagram fan following of more than 1,00,000, tweeted that this advancement is a “huge mistake” that is made by Instagram and might to a decrease in active users of Instagram and would Detroit their interest gradually. He feels that Facebook is also trying to “de-influence” the influencers who are present on this platform. He said, “They see millions/billions of advertising dollars that they want to be funneled into paid promotion going direct to users outside their ecosystem.”
Instagram’s decision to hiding likes is somehow a great and strong move which enrolled every user into criteria where no one is above or less than each other. The move is also a significant result where a user without likes or the users with thousands of likes will be one the same page, and no one will get discriminated on the bases of a few double-taps.
This decision also makes the platform less competitive and less pressurized where users will be able to enjoy the content rather than focusing on the strategies to get likes on their posts.
This means, the anxieties of over-powering each other might get reduced. On the other hand, this might also result in making the gram less interesting as well. The final decision of completely changing the ways of using this platform is directly proportional to what the reviews are. This would be clear after some months when the results of the tests will be available.