For Instagrammers the “likes” and the comments often equate to success on the platform. If you can accumulate more likes than your competitors, you’re winning. Right? Well, that may not be the case anymore since the platform is seemingly doing away with the like system. You can still like a photo, but unless you’re the account owner you won’t know how many people have liked it.
What changed with Instagram?
The internet was outraged this week when users discovered the new changes in the Instagram algorithm. Even for the most followed accounts, the number of “likers” has disappeared.
By now we’re used to social media platforms making drastic changes, it’s par for the course. But this change is pretty substantial for folks who love to see those numbers grow to show how well they’re using the medium.
Why I think it’s a good thing
As for me? I like this change.
Success on social media has made us “like” grabbers. We’re more interested in the clickability of the things we’re sharing, how click-baity we can be, that we aren’t interested in actually doing anything with ourselves. Our content values have gone completely out the window.
Without knowing how many people have liked a photo on Instagram now we can go back to caring about what we’re sharing online. Our Instagram posts can hold more value in their messages without so much concern over the upkeep of our numbers. Rather than outdoing the Joneses with a million photos of cute puppies just for the attention we can share something our followers actually care about.
That isn’t to say I don’t love my fair share of animal photos, but there is a time and place for everything.
Why the “likes” are going away
According to the BBC, this move is a way for Instagram to “take pressure” off of its users. Concern with online popularity has repeatedly proven to be detrimental to the health of young people (and really any users) on a global scale. By eliminating the “like” counts Instagram could help bolster the reduced self-esteem facing our technologically focused generations.
Back in 2017, the BBC called Instagram “the worst thing for young mental health” and, sadly, that observation hasn’t changed. If anything it has gotten exponentially worse through the years.
It hasn’t been confirmed whether or not the application will keep the changes long term though it wouldn’t be the worst thing if they kept the platform this way. Instagram was a lot more fun before all of the selfies looked the same, the vacations looked so posed and before influencers were ruining some of our world’s natural wonders.
Like it or not, Instagram is making changes.
What do you think in this shift of dynamic? Do you think it will survive the internet uproar and help our young people pick themselves out of the trenches of vanity?
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