Social media users have been up in arms since last Thursday when Instagram stopped them from seeing the number of ‘Likes’ (or ‘Loves’) their posts receive.
In a major shakeup by the social media giant, Instagram has tweaked things so that users are able to see the number of Likes their own posts receive, but not others. And to an influencer that’s like being in a padded cell, staring into a mirror and kissing it a thousand times with your own bloodied lips.
If you really want to know how many people exactly liked someone else’s post, you will have to click through to bring up a list of all users who’ve liked the post. Which would pretty much take the ‘Insta’ bit out of ‘Instagram’.
That lack of visible popularity is akin to a kid showing his Mum the drawing he did in school, and her relegating the botched illustration to the side of the fridge under a couple of magnets…
You see, users of Instagram (addicts?) are in fact lazy folk. And if you’re reading this and happen to be an avid Instagram user, stand up and be counted like the posts you so want to see Liked.
Instagram does all the prettying up of your pictures – thanks to its many filter options. It also requires only a picture to be uploaded – no fancy text to go with an image a la Facebook, no political siding, not even a hashtag if you really can’t be arsed.
But why is Instagram suddenly deciding to hide our Likes on a platform built to encourage vanity and notions of ‘winning’? According to Mia Garlick, the Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Instagram in Australia and New Zealand, it’s all about taking the “competition” out of posting, as she told Triple J’s Hack.
“We know that people come to Instagram to express themselves and to be creative and follow their passions. And we want to make sure it’s not a competition,” said Garlick.
Garlick also says the move to hide the number of ‘Likes’ will ease the “pressure” on users when they’re posting selfies, and in so doing, reduce anxiety. However, that lack of visible popularity is akin to a kid showing his Mum the drawing he did in school, and her relegating the botched illustration to the side of the fridge under a couple of magnets.
Australia is only the second country to test the feature, which had already been rolled out in Canada in May this year.
Our guess is that Instagram, which continues to target the more vain among us, will change tact once more and go back to the old Like system, that is accumulated Likes that are visible to everyone.