The social media giant Instagram is adding a new feature that will allow users to hide the number of likes on the photos and videos posted.
“We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” said Facebook, which owns the app, in a blog post ahead of the firm’s F8 developer conference in California on Tuesday.
This new feature will be launched for Instagram users in the upcoming days; thus confirming the rumors that have been circulating ever since Jane Manchun Wong, the technology blogger, shared screenshots of the prototype version on her feed last month.
This new feature will enable users only to view the number of likes their posts get, but their followers won’t be able to view them.
Removing public-facing likes “could result in users posting more authentic content and feeling less pressure on the platform”, says CNN.
“For teenagers, this is great because it would no longer highlight levels of popularity of themselves against other kids,” said Randi Priluck, a professor of marketing at New York’s Pace University. “But they’re still going to see their own likes. People are very driven by rewards so they’re still going to be competing for those likes. It’s not going to fully solve the problem.”
I couldn’t agree more with the previous point of view, however, the feature is still considered quite an impressive move. Besides standing against peer pressure, the feature is also attempting to stop the comparison that teenagers tend to do against influencers, bloggers and even their friends.
However, an issue that the feature failed to tackle, is that users will still be going after the likes, even if it will appear only to them. Because the more likes they get, the higher their self-esteem gets and vice versa. The number of followers is yet another measurement of popularity, which as well, the feature doesn’t help with this issue.
But then again, it is a smart move from Instagram, and a step towards eliminating the threats that social media outlets impose on the mindset of youth.