NEW ERA

Since early May 2019, Instagram is officially testing hiding like counts in a few countries. Instagram wants its followers to focus on the content they share.

Not the likes they get.

Indeed, we now know the impact of social media on people self-confidence. Many have implicitly set a number of likes below which they simply delete the photo. By hiding likes counts, Instagram wants to address mental health issues induced or exacerbated by social media and thus aims to get rid of toxic envy, insane competition or feelings of shame.

Also, Instagram wants to kill the dark secondary market where followers and likes can be bought – this secondary market making millions where Instagram struggles to monetize its own network – but it’s a different discussion.

The content’s creator will still be able to see the number of likes received by his/her post, but the followers won’t. The number will not automatically be displayed though, the content’s creator having to tap “others” under his/her post to get the total number of likes.

I think that it’s a great initiative. I suspect that the content’s creators will eventually feel more freedom to post whatever inspires them, instead of content supposed to get more likes.

Likes have always been a fraudulent currency. Anyone can buy them. Looking at other metrics, such as comments is much more interesting in terms of community building.

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