Starting next week, Instagram is going to hide “likes” from users across the United States. This change coincides with the application’s efforts to emphasize sharing and de-emphasize the popularity contests that often occur within Instagram.
Scrollers will still be able to “like” another user’s photo, but the number of likes that that photo or video receives will only be visible to the person who posted it.
While new to the U.S., Instagram has been testing this new feature in Ireland, Canada and Australia the past few months, receiving mostly negative reviews.
Despite the good intentions behind the change, many celebrities have lashed out in protest. Most notably, Nicki Minaj threatened to quit using the app if this change becomes permanent. Additionally, Cardi B said in a video she uploaded on Instagram that the change is pointless, and comments are more damaging than the number of “likes.”
Conversely, Kim Kardashian and Tracee Ellis Ross support the change, saying that it will be beneficial to the well-being of users.
Although Instagram hopes to promote positivity with this change, I do not think it is a good idea.
People turn to Instagram to brag about how great their lives are and collect “support” in the form of “likes.” Taking away “likes” not only defeats one of the primary purposes of the application but it also alienates many users. Besides, how are we supposed to “flex on the ‘gram” if other people cannot see how much love our posts are getting?
I cannot believe I am saying this, but I agree with Cardi B when she says that comments
are more harmful than the lack of “likes” a post receives. Hurtful words will leave more of a lasting impact on a person than if their post receives only two likes.
As someone who rarely shares photos on Instagram and likes virtually every post he
comes across, I find it difficult to believe that this change will be permanent.
A person’s desire for acceptance and gratification in the form of “likes” is too strong to be ignored, and if this change lasts, Instagram will not like the consequences.