Change is Coming: Instagram’s Decision to Hide User’s Likes

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Change is Coming: Instagram’s Decision to Hide User’s Likes

Instagram has officially started to implement the hidden likes feature, and users have very differing opinions about it.

“Like my recent!”, “Go check out my new IG Post!”, “LMR”. We’ve all seen Instagram users boast about their most recent posts, in efforts to try and gain the most likes possible. Some do it to gain more popularity, while other people, such as influencers or models, do it for branding purposes. Regardless of the reasons, likes are disappearing from the public, and they may be going for good.

On Nov 8, the CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, made the announcement at the WIRED25 conference. He stated that they will be releasing a test on the app which hides user’s likes from anybody else on Instagram. Only the user who posted on Instagram will be able to see their likes, which drastically changes the purposes of the app. 

“I don’t think I will use Instagram less; I just think that I’m not going to like it as much as I used to, [once the app changes],” said sophomore Katelyn Monteverde.

As per CNN, the change to the app has already been made in seven other countries: Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. A Facebook associate spoke for CNN Business and stated that “this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community.”

So far, the effects of the change have been fairly positive, but it is yet to be determined if all Americans will have the same viewpoint as others around the world. 

“Well personally, I’m not very fond of Instagram taking the like [feature] away,” said junior Heather Kim. “I don’t think taking away likes will affect the “competitive” environment, since Instagram isn’t much of a competition.”

The main concerns of hidden likes are losing loyal users of the app to Instagram’s competitors, and more importantly, the loss of paid ambassadors and celebrities using the app to brand. Nicki Minaj, who currently has 108 million followers, has stated that she is stepping away from the app after hearing about the change, per Yahoo! Entertainment. 

Contrastingly, mega influencer and reality TV actress Kim Kardashian is all for having likes hidden. This comes as a shock to people since Kardashian makes a chunk of her $350 million dollar net worth from the app. Regardless, she feels that it is crucial to user’s mental health to not worry about who likes each other’s content, per CNBC. 

More importantly, the success of hidden likes on Instagram will only be beneficial if the younger generation seems to agree. As per Sprout Social, 64% of Instagram’s total users range from ages 18-29. Thus far, there seem to be very mixed responses. 

“People are always going to get more likes than others, no matter what,” said Monteverde. “I don’t think that [hiding them] is going to change that.”

While users in other continents and countries are very supportive of Instagram’s decision, it is clear that right now, U.S. users don’t have the same mindset. Likes are a very crucial aspect to Instagram, and it is a feature that draws in lots of users. Now, that they will soon be hidden for everyone, it is unclear if they will eventually have an all-around positive response.