Wed. Jan 27th, 2021

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Staff Ed: Instagram hides ‘like’ feature

2 min read

The Blue & Gray Press

By THE BLUE AND GRAY EDITORIAL BOARD

The CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, first announced in May  several new features set to premiere on the platform later in the year. One of the new features coming to Instagram is the hiding of public “like” counts, which begun testing in the United States this week. This would mean that like counts under posts in your feed would be hidden. The new interface will have the like button in its usual place, with a line of text next to the like button showing the names of two people who have liked the post. Mosseri says that the change is to help make social media less of a socially pressurized environment. 

While likes are hidden from Followers, users can see the exact number of likes that their post receives.

“As you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts,” explained Mark Zuckerberg at F8, Facebook’s annual creator conference. “You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see [the list], and if you have the time you can add them all up yourself.”

The change was first tested in May in the Canadian market. The feature has now been rolled out to Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, and now the United States. This change started the week of Nov. 8, and will affect more users as the month progresses, said Mosseri.

The alteration is an attempt to make Instagram a more friendly place for the users. In a survey done by the Royal Society for Public Health in the U.K., Instagram was rated highest out of major social media platforms in causing users to have negative body image, as well as users who experience anxiety and depression. If Mosseri’s projection is accurate, the changes will improve the mental health and happiness of Instagram users. 

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