For several months now, Instagram has been running a pilot program where only the person who has shared a particular photo can see how many people liked it. This week, the experiment will start with a small number of users in the United States. In short, they’re not happy about that.
Instagram is a widely known social networking site for sharing photos and short stories about your life with other users. Because of its great popularity, it has become a key service for influencers and brands that want to promote themselves with the help of people who are very popular in social media. The endorsement of the posted content is expressed by the so-called likes, i.e. by double tapping on a given photo.
As a rule, the more likes a person acquires, the more popular he or she becomes. In the pursuit of increasing the popularity of their publications, Instagram has become a place where you can often see idealised images, often with little coverage of reality. Unfortunately, not everyone can see the differences between real and virtual reality. Problems with distinguishing between them occur especially among young people, who willingly transfer the examples observed on Instagram to everyday life. In practice, it boils down to an obsessive pursuit of beauty and wealth, which in extreme cases can lead to depression and other related mental disorders, not to mention the consequences in the form of lost values, in the name of artificially promoted values, friendship or affection.
Instagram managers noticed the scale and seriousness of the problem, so they decided to take countermeasures. One of the most logical solutions is to hide the actual number of likes of a photo from everyone except the person who made it available. The aim of this change is to reduce unnecessary, unhealthy competition between users, especially those of school age. Currently, the Instagram viewer can see the login of one of the users and the total number of likes and dislikes. After the change, the message will contain only the login of the sample user with words and others.
The reaction of American users to the fact that the experiment will start in their country soon was rather negative. In the post of Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, there were criticisms and declarations of removing accounts from his social network. The attitude of opposition to changes aimed at protecting the youngest users on one hand is surprising, and on the other hand it evokes some understanding. For some Instagram account holders this service has become a source of additional (sometimes even the main) income. Without information about the actual number of likes and dislikes, it will be difficult to estimate the real reach of the person, which may lead to a decrease in income from published sponsored materials.