Instagram may hide the number of ‘likes’ on photos to protect users’ wellbeing

With reports over the past few years branding Instagram as bad for your mental health and wellbeing, the social media platform is looking to make some changes.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 15:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 15:50 pm
In a bid to rebrand its image, Instagram is considering hiding the number of likes on a photo (Picture: Shutterstock)

In a decision to rebrand, Instagram might begin to hide the number of likes on a photo, and the number of views on a video.

Why hide the number of likes on a photo?

According to studies conducted over the recent years, Instagram is ranked as one of the most harmful apps in terms of mental health.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) assessed 1,479 young people - ranging from 14 to 24 - on how various social media platforms made them feel, either positively or negatively.

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The report found that Instagram made the participants feel the worst out of the platforms, in terms of their wellbeing.

The report found that all social media platforms assessed (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Youtube) were associated with poor sleep and tiredness.

Instagram ranked so highly in terms of negatively affecting users wellbeing is because it can be linked to an increase in anxiety, low self esteem and issues with body image.

One participant told the study, “Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look ‘perfect’.”

How will this help?

The change is meant to redirect the attention of Instagram users away from the number of likes an image has. The real focus is meant to be placed on the actual content being uploaded and shared.

Instagram top executive Adam Mosseri appeared at Facebook’s F8 developers conference to discuss the decision, saying that the goal is to make Instagram feel “less like a competition.”

Facebook bought Instagram back in April of 2012.

Will I still know how many people have liked my photo?

Users will still be able to see how many likes their photo has gotten, but that information won’t be displayed publicly.

However, users won’t be given the total number of likes their post has gotten - instead, they will have to click through and manually count how many likes they have received, if they really want to know.

The same goes for videos posted to Instagram, too, with the number of views being hidden.

Who will this affect?

For now, the trial will be conducted later this week on a number of accounts in Canada.

Depending on the reception the decision received, the initiative could experience a wider roll out.