Instagram has announced that for users in seven countries, the number of likes displayed under their posts will no longer be visible.
According to Instagram’s official Twitter account, they’re testing the change because they want users to focus on the photos and videos shared on the platform rather than how many likes the posts get.
We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
But Malaysians don’t need to panic!
Firstly, Malaysia is not among the countries included in the test…yet.
Secondly, the move is merely a test at the moment.
Instagram first implemented “invisible likes” (this is a term we made up ourselves) in Canada last May. Now, they’re expanding the test to a number of countries so they can gauge how the change resonates with Instagram’s global community.
Which means that it’s still possible that they might just scrap the whole thing entirely.
Thirdly, you will still be able to see the number of likes and views on your own posts, just not the number of likes on posts by other users.
Naturally, the internet is divided. There are those supporting the move, there are those against it. And then there are those who just want chronological order of the timeline back.
Actually Instagram is right and this will ONLY benefit society! This is a GOOD thing. DEAL WITH IT.— Diogo Filipe (@ph3ux) July 18, 2019
No one asked for this. No one wants this except insecure snowflakes. Thanks.— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) July 18, 2019
Cool story, bro.— Ongina (@ongina) July 18, 2019
But we want OUR FEED in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
This news comes at the heels of Instagram introducing a slew of new tools and policies to prevent online bullying taking place on the app.
Another new feature on Instagram is Restrict. It allows users to have better control over how other users contact them and interact with their accounts.
Besides that, Instagram will also now alert users when their accounts are at risk of being disabled.
Personally, we think this might be a positive change for the social media platform.
Although research has shown that social media platforms such as Instagram allows us the freedom of self-expression and an avenue to receive social support from our peers, it also shows that receiving likes on your Instagram posts sends a rush of dopamine to the brain.
This is not good. In fact, the dopamine rush means social media affects the brain the same way gambling does, which is the reason why social media is so addictive.
Furthermore, scrolling through endless pictures of your friends constantly on holiday or enjoying nights out can promote a ‘compare and despair’ attitude, resulting in feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety.
The only people who might actually be negatively affected by “invisible likes” are social media influencers.
Since influencers typically use their number of likes and follower count as their marketing angle to clients, having their likes invisible MIGHT affect their clout with followers.
Malaysian influencers could especially be affected by this, considering they have it pretty tough already based on a recent survey revealing that they are not as influential as influencers from other countries.