Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, announced at the WIRED25 conference on Friday, Nov. 8 that the company will begin removing “like” counts from their posts. The test is being implemented as early as this week in an effort to make the application more positive, user-friendly and less like a competition.
The test has already been done in several different places including Brazil, Canada, and Japan, among a few others. With it coming to the United States, it will be affecting certain users’ accounts but not everyone at once.
WATCH: Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announces that the platform will start hiding likes for US audiences starting next week. It's the latest step in Instagram’s quest to become the safest place on the internet. https://t.co/BGkMG57rdk #WIRED25 pic.twitter.com/WNTyAPVhaD
— WIRED (@WIRED) November 9, 2019
The account holder will still be able to see who and how many people like their post. However, the like count will disappear from public view.
This is not the first measure that Instagram has taken in order to become the safest place on the internet; it comes along with different algorithms and filters used to remove offensive comments or pictures.
Rapper Cardi B took to her account over the weekend to talk about her opinion on the issue. Cardi made it clear that her concern isn’t over likes, but rather about the comments section of the platform. Cardi goes on to say that trolls often post triggering comments in order to get a reaction, and that many of the comments are disrespectful or offensive. She makes it clear that the amount of likes on a post aren’t the problem, but the comments are what can really do damage to one’s image and self esteem.
Rapper Nicki Minaj, on the other hand, looked at this decision from a business aspect and mentioned the possible decline in influencer culture as an outcome of these changes.
Influencer content will need to greatly increase due to not being able to rely on the amount of likes on a post to calculate engagement. Without the likes, posts aren’t getting the reach that they need and because of that, their posts are pushed further down on the timeline. This not only makes it harder to get exposure, but harder to get business as well.
With influencers beginning to lose their spotlight, businesses are choosing instead to pay for advertisements and sponsored posts from Instagram. This then helps to bring in more money for the big corporation, while self-employed content creators struggle to figure out what to do next.