Have you heard about this? At the start of May 2019, Instagram announced that they are to trial a feature which hides the number of likes on a post from audiences.
The number of likes a post has will still be visible to the page owner, but not to those viewing the page and its posts. The idea is to try and get Instagram users to focus more on posting authentic and original content, and viewers to see that content, rather than just viewing the number of likes a post has.
Initially rolling out across Canada, with other regions expected to follow, the feature is potentially a step in the right direction for teenagers using the platform and those who may be more vulnerable to judging their self worth on the popularity of a post, although this obviously doesn’t eradicate the issue altogether as the page author can still view their own number of likes. However, for issues such as cyber-bullying, it may go some way in deterring bullies from using social media for their actions.
It remains to be seen how this trial will be taken, but given the huge popularity of platforms like Instagram (with 1 billion active monthly users…), the developers must be seen to be taking action to push their platforms in the right direction and promote healthy use for all users going forward.