Internet Culture
Hyer’s Highlights: Likes on Instagram
Instagram has launched a trial whereby users won’t see the number of likes on other user’s posts.
Benji Hyer
Published 22 July 2019

Instagram is hiding the number of likes on posts in several countries in order to “remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love”.

Instagram launched the trial in Canada in May and the new test is rolling out in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil. The goal is for users to feel “less judged” and “help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story”.

Currently, Instagram users see a running total of people who have liked a post. In the trial, though, we will only see the name of one user who liked the post, followed by the words: “and others”. You’ll still know the numbers of people you liked your posts, but your followers won’t, unless they click to view who liked your post, and then count the list of names themselves.

This comes at a crucial time for Instagram. There is growing concern that social media platforms can negatively affect mental health and contribute to feelings of inadequacy in young people. Studies suggest instant feedback on content, such as likes, can boost self-esteem, but it brings down others if they do not get as many likes.

The majority of listeners to Benji Hyer’s W!ZARD Radio Station radio show – including Carly and Victoria – believe this to be a great idea. And Benji agrees that it will allow for more people to post more pictures. He says this is a “win-win” situation for both Instagram and users.

Broadcasted exclusively worldwide on W!ZARD Radio Station.

Listen to the full discussion from Benji Hyer's radio show on the 'Hyer's Highlights' podcast, here

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