With so many people complaining, let's look at the positives if Instagram actually does remove "like counts."
Image: Tube Filter
If you have been scrolling around on Twitter or even just reading the "tech news" lately, I sure you have stumbled across an article with a headline something along this lines of "Instagram is Removing Likes This Week: Here is what That Will look Like..."
And surprisingly, the news isn't wrong this time, they just aren't 100% right either. Instagram is only testing out this feature on a number of users within the US this week, something that they already have been doing in other countries previous to this.
That doesn't mean that they aren't going to implement this change in the not too distant future though and that is something we have to weight the benefits and downsides to.
All I have seen regarding this news is the negative side, or people complaining about the potential change and how it would be the "worst thing to ever happen."
They are not surprisingly missing the fact of how much good this change could do for the population as a whole, potentially helping the mindsets and happiness of the users that "live for the likes."
Why is Instagram Testing This?
For some very valid reasons.
Well, they are a tech company so you can expect them to test anything and everything that they would need to in order to create a more powerful user experience.
And in the day and age of rising social media use correlated with rising unhappiness and depression, a better user experience might encompass taking away some of these features that are contributing the most to the problem at hand.
This could be the first of many steps Instagram and other social media companies take in order to help combat this growing problem in children and adults inside and outside of the United States.
For some, the game of user experience and creating the user interface on apps, websites and other pieces of technology might see a SLIGHT decline in the focus on keeping people on their platforms as long as possible, in exchange for the greater good of society.
Why People May Be Concerned
More people then not I see complaining about this move.
People are concerned for very good reasons, or at least the people who have businesses and brands on Instagram that is.
A brand or business that has a presence on Instagram relies heavily on engagement on their pages and if you take away one of the key measures of engagement, then how would people know that they are a reputable brand and didn't just buy all of their followers?
Well, that is a valid point here but the comment section will still be available and in reality, it shows a much stronger audience engagement, for followers of that page, if there is an engaged comment section. It is easy for someone to scroll past and like a picture without even knowing who posted it or what exactly the image was about, but people only comment on the pages they find interesting and engaging.
Also, housing a brand on Instagram, much like these "Instagram Influencers" are doing, you are bound to run into problems like this all the time. From algorithm changes that don't allow your posts to be organically found anymore, to now the removal of likes. You can't just rely on one platform for your whole brand and business, because what if that platform goes "extinct" for whatever reason, like the once powerful Myspace, this can and WILL happen eventually as new platforms step in and gain traction.
For the people who are just on Instagram with their personal pages and worried about the removal of likes, it is definitely not going to impact these pages as much as a business and this might be a sign that they are too worried about the perception of their life on Instagram.
Who really cares how many likes your personal page got, do you even know everyone liking your pictures or is it just a number? And for many people that number is never high enough, you start off wanting 100 likes, then 1,000, then you see a page with 10,000 likes and want that. It literally is never going to be enough for these people.
Seriously take a step back and look at how much Instagram is influencing your life, and why you would be "mad" if they took away likes, is it really going to impact your life drastically?
But, the positives might outweigh the negatives in the long run...
Social Media and the Rise of Mental Health Problems
How social media may be contributing to this.
It is no new research that social media is contributing to mental health problems, loneliness and sadness across the world.
We spend all day on these platforms comparing our lives to the lives of the people that we follow, and soon start to think about how "boring" our lives are. We scroll for hours and hours through pictures of places we aren't going to, things we don't have and fame we wish we had.
What is this doing to our minds? It is making us depressed that we don't have these things even though we have never put forth the effort to get them. So, what do we do? Go on social media to avoid thinking about this and end up getting even more sad or comparing our lives more and more to these "other people."
Social media also has us more connected than ever. We are constantly on Snapchat talking with our friends and this makes us feel more connected than ever, why would you even need to hang out with people if you are constantly in contact with them? Well, think this for long enough and you start hanging out with less and less people and the feeling of loneliness increases ten times, even though we are "talking to" a ton of people each day.
Technology and social media has started to replace those persons to person conversations in our lives, the exact conversations that help us feel needed and wanted. "Real world relationships" are increasingly important now that we are seeing less and less people, because we can simply snap them instead of actually meeting them for lunch. It is no wonder then that a majority of Americans report that the often feel lonely during the course of a day.
How Removing Likes Might Be The Best Thing For Your