Popular social media platform, Instagram, seems to have finally made the decision to remove the like count from posts. The company’s CEO Adam Mosseri just announced that they will start conducting tests in the US as early as the start of the next week.
In fact, according to Mosseri, some tests have already been conducted in several other countries including Brazil, Japan, and Canada. The new feature, or rather lack thereof, will not be implemented all at once in the testing phase. If you live in the US, there might be a chance that you won’t even notice it. In case you do, you’ll not be able to see the number of likes on any post except your own.
WATCH: Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announces that the platform will start hiding likes for US audiences starting next week. It's the latest step in Instagram’s quest to become the safest place on the internet. https://t.co/BGkMG57rdk #WIRED25 pic.twitter.com/WNTyAPVhaD
— WIRED (@WIRED) November 9, 2019
Now, in case you’re wondering why this is being implemented in the first place, the answer is internet safe spaces. According to Mosseri, people often get conscious whether the picture or video that they’re about to post will get likes or not. By restricting other users from viewing one’s likes, Mosseri believes that people will post whatever they wish more freely without thinking twice.
While most people seem bummed out by this, I believe that this might be a step in the right direction. The reason being that the fear of getting fewer likes does depend on whether or not a person posts a particular picture or video. If you remove that, you’ll be free to share content as your heart desires without having any doubts. And if you think about it, this was the very purpose behind the creation of Instagram.
It’s not new for Instagram to make changes like these. A few weeks ago, the company removed the Following section from the notification area. What it used to do was to show the public activity of the people you followed. The purpose behind it was the same with a hint of privacy issues as well.
Similarly, Instagram also removed the user’s ability to check who viewed their highlights after 24 hours. Again, this was due to the fact the most people hesitated to view other people’s highlights so it wouldn’t look like they were stalking them. This rendered the purpose of having highlights altogether.
Knowing that Instagram is owned by Facebook, I won’t be surprised that it follows suit as well. People using Facebook do face similar issues when sharing content and therefore won’t have to once it’s implemented. Once that happens, then maybe the internet can be a safer place than its current state.