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What, No Likes? Instagram to End ‘Popularity Contest’

Status anxiety: Instagram is hiding the number of likes on every published post to stave off pressure to be liked

Instagram is removing the ‘likes’ count from posts in a trial across seven countries to “remove pressure” on users of the popular social media platform. It is a tacit acknowledgement of the negative effects social media behemoths — with over one billion users — like Instagram have on the wellbeing of its users.

The beta trial which does not include the UK has been rolled out in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. Instagram said in a statement: “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.

“We’re looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram.” The new initiative comes after research linked social media platforms, especially visual channels like Instagram to mental anxieties experienced by young people and influencers. Users’ status anxieties and insecurities can be seen in myriad Google queries like; How can I get more Instagram likes? Who has the highest likes on Instagram? What hashtags get the most likes? Can you buy likes and followers on Instagram? How can I get more likes and followers on Instagram?

Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy said the move was for users to feel less judged over their postings. “We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” she explained.

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