Do You Really Like It?
Big news recently that Instagram is going to be testing hiding likes on the platform. Recent reports suggest that it is already in trial status in seven countries with more expected.
It appears that you can see how many likes a post receives, but no-one else will be able to from the public feed.
CEO Adam Mosseri has said in a statement, “We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s wellbeing and health.”
Some people have commented that it is genuine, while others are calling out the point that influencers are potentially taking away from ad revenues.
Could this be a change for the better in the longer-term, even though it may not be received well in the shorter term?
In a 2017 report by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), they found that while Instagram gave the appearance of a positive influence on people’s lives, the platform was found to have negative impacts on body image for young women, as well as adversely impacting sleep patterns, and emotional health and wellbeing.
A statement on the RSPH website by Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH, comments “Social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, and is now so entrenched in the lives of young people that it is no longer possible to ignore it when talking about young people’s mental health issues.
Through our Young Health Movement, young people have told us that social media has had both a positive and negative impact on their mental health. It’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing – both platforms are very image-focused, and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.
“As the evidence grows that there may be potential harms from heavy use of social media, and as we upgrade the status of mental health within society, it is important that we have checks and balances in place to make social media less of a wild west when it comes to young people’s mental health and wellbeing. We want to promote and encourage the many positive aspects of networking platforms and avoid a situation that leads to social media psychosis, which may blight the lives of our young people.
Instagram hiding how many likes users get is very much in a trial phase.
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