The psychology behind social media and gratification is real. Which could be why Facebook’s image-sharing platform (Instagram) is testing hiding like counts. This ongoing ‘experiment’ wants to establish whether hiding ‘likes’ on posts will improve the user experience. And it’s now expanding to the US — though only to a ‘small portion’ of people.
We’ve already seen this test in other countries like Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. And a few influencers were slightly upset. Likes make up their livelihood, right?
Hit ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’
But likes won’t ‘disappear’ per se, posts can still rack up ‘likes’ as normal, but only the poster will be able to view them. Onlookers won’t see how many likes a particular post has. In theory this principle makes sense. It could prevent users from feeling diminished with their smaller ‘like’ counts. The idea is to make the social network a less pressure-filled experience. It shouldn’t feel like a competitive environment — or that’s what Instagram says.
WATCH: Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announces that the platform will start hiding likes for US audiences starting next week. It's the latest step in Instagram’s quest to become the safest place on the internet. https://t.co/BGkMG57rdk #WIRED25 pic.twitter.com/WNTyAPVhaD
— WIRED (@WIRED) November 9, 2019
“The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and things that inspire them,” said Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri.
You know what else it’ll impact? People who make money from raking in those likes. This may change the online content creator model completely, as posts will still reach a lot of people, but the numbers will be concealed to onlookers. Nevertheless, we’ll have to see how this influences the influencers once the feature rolls out globally.
Source: The Verge