After almost a decade of pushing the narrative that more likes mean you are more important than others, Instagram is starting to test the idea of keeping the amount of likes a user has on a photo private.
Users will still be able to see mutual followers who have liked other’s photos but the precise number will be hidden so only the account holder can see it.
The test comes out of the Facebook F8 Developer Conference where head executives took the stage to address several issues concerning privacy, innovation and the responsibility of acquiring large amounts of data over the long term.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram said in one of the screenshots of the test feature that leaked online.
We all have that one friend who is constantly posting a photo at the “wrong time” to get likes, only for them to delete and re-upload it at a better time the next day to farm the most amount of clicks out of people.
I’ve been posting on Instagram since July 2011 and you can clearly see though my grid when getting likes became a priority for me.
I started to pay attention to the hashtags of the top posts I would see before posting my artsy sunset or get frustrated when I missed my window to post the third photo to complete my profile layout for the day.
I became obsessed with chasing likes and breaking triple digits just pushed me to keep going. As I started to plateau I invested more time into the photos I was uploading, I started using a DSLR instead of my iPhone and was editing the pictures heavily before uploading them.
What I realized was the amount of effort I was putting in wasn’t translating to viable results on social media.
I was driving to all these locations to take photos but I was too busy trying to get the most likeable photo to even enjoy myself when experiencing these incredible places.
By implementing these changes from the test, Instagram hopes that people will become more creative without the pressure of needing to acquire a certain number of likes.
As a self-diagnosed recovering Instagram addict I welcome these changes and hope that it can help others realize their unhealthy relationship with the dopamine release of getting and comparing likes.