Instagram does the unexpected

Heydi Ortiz, Managing Editor

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The Instagram app has gone through many changes in recent years. From allowing users to archive their photos, to allowing users to post longer videos and multiple photos, and being able to switch their accounts to night mode. Now, Instagram is looking at yet another big change: hiding likes.

According to Business Insider, the U.S. isn’t the only country in the process of switching up the main reason why the app exists. Starting today, Instagram has done so globally.

CEO Adam Mosseri announced to WIRED25 that the change to hide likes from the public eye would be taking place this week but would only show up on certain accounts to test out the feature first.

So will this hurt or help the social media platform?

According to WIRED, “Social media researchers have argued that when users tailor their content to whatever garners the most engagement (or outrage), the result is a radicalized environment that makes healthy, happy conversations almost impossible.”

Instagram also addressed how the change will affect creators and businesses who use the likes for consumer purposes.

“I think, for me, I feel like it’s a really good idea because then it doesn’t promote people having to feel wanted or popular,” said UNF student and Psychology major Tahlia Mudzimurema. “For me, I’ve always struggled with myself personally and, you know, like feeling like an outcast. Like, I don’t get enough likes so I feel that would take those feelings away, and it would just be for your personal gain. I think it might hurt it because a lot of people are upset about it. But I think, in the end, it’s a good decision.”

This isn’t the only move Instagram has made in an effort to make social media a more welcoming environment and prioritize the mental health of its users. Just last month, the company that creates Instagram Story filters announced they would ban filters that give off the effect of plastic surgery which alters the user’s features.

Though it’s unsure if Facebook will follow in the same footsteps, if you think changes like these are only happening to Instagram, then think again. Facebook and Instagram are intertwined. Only time can tell what social media platforms have in store for its users.

 

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