Everything You Need to Know About Instagram’s “Hidden Likes” Test
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We all saw this coming, but in case you missed it, Instagram just launched its game-changing “Likes-Free” test update to the whole world.
Tests for the “hidden” Likes started last April in Canada and then rolled out to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Italy, and Brazil, resulting in mixed feelings. Recently, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, announced at the WIRED25 Summit 2019 that the test was expanding to the U.S., and now it’s in effect for a small group of users in every country. So far, there is no news about how long the tests will last or if the update will be permanent.
WHY IS INSTAGRAM TAKING AWAY OUR LIKES?
Instagram wants to promote a healthier environment for all of its users. According to Mosseri, the purpose of a “Likes-Free” Instagram is to depressurize the platform and make it less competitive. Moving away from likes will help users “focus more on connecting with people that they love, and things that inspire them…”
Many studies and reputable news sources have shared that interacting with social media platforms can incur negative psychological problems, especially with young audiences.
– NBC News reports that a recent study, published by the American Psychology Association, found that individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major depression increased by 52% in teens and 63% in young adults age 18 to 25 from 2009 to 2017.
– U.S. News states that “Young people who spend more than 3 hours a day on social media are susceptible to depression, anxiety, and other illnesses and are more likely to internalize bad feelings about themselves,” according to a study by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
– CNN shared a study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal which found that content posted on social media can hinder the healthy sleep and exercise of young people.
ARE MY LIKES DISAPPEARING FOREVER?
We put quotation marks around “Likes-Free” and “hidden” for a reason. No, Likes will not totally disappear from your posts. Instead, Instagram is removing the public’s view of the Like count and replacing it with a preview of mutual followers who liked the post. Although, Instagram users can still see their Likes and other posts’ Likes by clicking on “others.”
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT MY BRAND? WILL THIS KILL INFLUENCER MARKETING?
Naturally, brands and influencers are feeling nervous about the negative effects of this update as it rolls out. Some brands predict that their engagements will decline and some influencers are boycotting Instagram for “hiding” Likes because it will affect their brand deals.
I’m not posting on IG after this week cuz they removing the likes. Hmmmm what should I get into now? Think of all the time I’ll have with my new life
— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) November 9, 2019