Most people know that being able to see the likes of a post can deem how popular someone is aside from their follower count. Some people may have more than 12K followers but then somehow, they only have 41 likes on a post. Odd, isn’t it?
Well, recently Instagram and Facebook have been testing a feature which allows users to hide the “like” counts on their post to others.
The reason behind why this feature was introduced is to reduce “social pressure” from these platforms due to the increase of toxic behaviour on social media and cyberbullying.
A selected group of users will on Instagram and Facebook will be selected over the coming weeks to test out the new feature. Do note though, this feature has actually been around since 2019 (I’ve seen it on one of the Instagram accounts I manage).
A company spokesman from Instagram had said that “Some people found this beneficial but some still wanted to see like counts so they could track what’s popular.”
Although it hides the likes from others, but users will still be able to privately see their like count.
Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri had previously said in 2019 that they had laid out the rationale behind hiding the likes.
Image via Vox
According to a report by CNBC, Adam Mosseri said “The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, to make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and the things that inspire them.”
Meanwhile, parent company Facebook has prioritised the fight on cyberbullying and predatory behaviour as they have also planned to release a version of Instagram which is catered to children below the age of 13.
Although it is a good initiative, it’s already received strong criticism as people are concerned the exploitative potential and privacy concerns.
To an extent, removing the ability to see the number of likes does help in reducing social pressure but it will also serve as a difficulty to various advertising agencies and etc to identify the “validity” of a user’s reach when needing to hire and promote products in the market.
It’s all down to a user’s perspective for this update but personally I think removing “like” counts is ideal. What do you think of this? Let us know in the comments.