It was recently announced that Instagram is trialling the removal of ‘likes’ counters. You’ll still be able to see how many likes you’re racking up on your own posts – just not other people’s. So, what’s the reason for this massive shake up? Mia Garlick, the Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Instagram in Australia and New Zealand, chatted to Triple J’s Hack last week and said it's all about taking the "competition" out of posting. Garlick went on to say that the change will ease the "pressure" on users to post certain kinds of pics.
The change comes after growing reports into how social media affects our wellbeing. Many researchers suggest that the impact is negative, particularly when it comes to the mental health of young people using the platform. According to Hack, a recent study in the UK found that Instagram was the worst platform for the mental health of young people. Instagram said this recent update is specifically designed to combat this problem.
Since it was announced that Instagram was running the trial, Twitter has been ablaze with commentary. From the insightful and positive, to the negative and unhappy, to the downright hilarious, we’ve rounded up the best Twitter reactions to the #instagramlikes saga.
A lot of people have been singing Instagram’s praises, claiming this new feature is a positive step towards making the platform a less harmful place. Most of these reactions mention people’s hope that it will see Instagram go back to being a creative place, rather than one obsessed with popularity.
A brilliant decision. People's lives are too heavily influenced by social media these days. Worth should not be determined by artificial likes. This is a step forward in promoting healthier usage and will hopefully return Instagram to a primarily creative outlet. #instagramlikes— becks (@beckygelato) 18 July 2019
Uppopular opinion but I think #instagramlikes is a good idea. My mental health (anxiety) has suffered majorly in the past because my post has not got ‘enough likes’ and I have deleted posts for this very reason Instagram without pressure is an exciting concept for me☺️— Mollie Potter⭐️ (@Mozzarp) 18 July 2019
i think i may be the only one who thinks this whole #instagramlikes situation is great. i am definitely guilty of sometimes letting my instagram likes be an indication of my worth, so this feels like a weight off my shoulders.— ya girl mojo (@dumbidiothumans) 18 July 2019
honestly i’m so glad instagram are now hiding likes it’s time for the ‘influencers’ to think more about WHAT they post and how they actually influence others rather than the numbers on their screens 👏🏼👏🏼 #instagramlikes— katie (@sivanssellitto) 18 July 2019
While a lot of people are praising Instagram for this step, a lot of others (and not just #influencers) are unhappy with the change. Some claim that not being able to publicly show off their ‘likes’ is more damaging for their mental health than the comparison that comes from seeing other people’s likes. Others just think it should be an optional feature – given the untold effects it may have on people whose cash flow depends on engagement.
Guess one of my accounts now can’t see likes anymore @instagram why won’t you just make it a optional feature that you can turn on or off. Plus being able to see your own likes is worse then others seeing them for mental health! Please stop #instagramlikes #instagramdown pic.twitter.com/UbdUrcdhaW— Patrick Blue (@patrickbluemua) 17 July 2019
What about the people using it for income? The people who work hard creating content, to then have their hard work not praised/not shown how successful it was to others?? Instead the app ruins the quality and doesn’t show the posts to 90% of followers? #instagramlikes #instagram— luce (@LucieSeviour) 17 July 2019
what's the point of liking a picture anyway now? #instagramlikes— 𝕓𝕖𝕔𝕒 (@twoalya) 17 July 2019
Lastly, we’ve got the people who think the whole thing is just one big joke. And really, who can blame them? These folks are a nice reminder that sometimes we need to take a step back and look at what’s really important. Does it *really* matter how many likes you get on a photo?
instas like my own lil personal diary for my own mems, i post about 10 pics a day sometimes 🤣🤣 i genuinely couldn’t give two shits who likes them n who don’t #instagramlikes— 𝙴𝙻𝙼𝙰𝚁𝙸𝙰𝙷 🖤 (@elmariah_) 18 July 2019