Instagram to remove ability to see other people’s ‘likes’

Photo//The Brag

The ability to see the number of views and likes on other people’s Instagram posts may soon disappear.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, confirmed the idea back in May. He told Buzzfeed News that the goal was to create “a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.”

According to a study done in the United Kingdom by the Royal Society for Public Health, Instagram ranked fifth out of the top five social media platforms, with the worst net negative impact on mental health, behind YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.

Users will still be able to see the number of likes and views from their own posts, but numbers on other users’ posts will become invisible.

Some users in the U.S. can expect to see the number of likes disappear as early as next week, according to NPR. The test will not impact “the whole U.S at once,” Mosseri said at the WIRED25 Summit in San Francisco on Nov. 8.

Instagram started testing this idea back a few months ago. In July, Instagram posted that they were “currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views” in seven countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. However, this test feature would only affect some users.

Francisco Casarotti (@francisco.casarotti), a pianist from Canada with over 21,000 followers thinks Instagram is making the right choice. He’s been living with the change for a few months on his musician account, but says the change hasn’t kicked in on his personal account yet.

“I think it is great, because a lot of people have low self esteem when they notice that someone has tons of likes and they don’t have as many,” Francisco said, “so it forces people to stop comparing and focus on the content instead of the likes… too many people base their talent and confidence on the number of likes.” 

Ashleigh Withers, a diabetic personal blogger from Australia, is also happy about the change.

“I don’t feel the pressure when comparing my posts to others,” Withers said. “I can share the content I like and if a post doesn’t get lots of likes, I don’t even need to worry about what other people may think.”

Not everyone is happy about the change, though. On Nov. 9, Nicki Minaj (who has over 107 million followers on Instagram) tweeted, “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.” 

Josue Rios (@josue.rios_118), a pre-business student from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, doesn’t agree with Instagram’s idea, either.

“The numbers help people analyze the success of other’s [sic] posts,” Rios said. “It helps gauge their own IG marketing strategies.”

Instagram’s more than 110 million U.S. users should expect to see changes to their Insta experience soon, whether they agree with it or not.