Social Media has become the guide to our generation. It has given us the motive to share everything from our adventures to our special moments, to even our new haircuts with the world. Instagram in particular has become a mecca for posting for people of all ages. Many would describe Instagram as a completely accepting and welcoming environment.
“We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get,” an Instagram spokesperson said. They are trying to get users to be more focused on creating connections and exploring interests than having a popularity contest for likes. Although it is a platform that is meant to provide a space for all types of people to express themselves, the ability to like, comment, and follow others gives a certain type of hierarchy to certain users on the app.
As it has been shown in research, Instagram is meant to encourage user engagement and promote creativity. A lot of people argue that the connotation behind likes and comments has taken away the non-judgment and creative environment Instagram is meant to represent. Even now, Instagram is considering the removal of like counts from posts.
Instagram is thinking of making it so only the creator of a post can see how many likes their post is receiving. Instagram is experimenting with this idea because they want followers to be focused on content that is being shared, not how many likes posts are receiving.
If Instagram were able to reduce the focus on only posting the closest to flawless images to represents their lives, it would help keep Instagram an app that is meant to truly connect users through expression, not altering their images to get a certain number of likes and immediate gratification.
Likes would still be a part of Instagram, but the actual numerical aspect of likes would be removed, hopefully encouraging people to look at likes as support, not a certain number that defines the popularity or worthiness of their post.
While we’re all for this change, we understand the controversy. Though likes can be extremely demoralizing, the culture around it has encouraged users to post, and has provided an incentive for content that performs well. On the other hand, it can also incentivize users to post less authentic content as they are striving only to fulfill their need for instant gratification.
What are your thoughts on this change?