Instagram has been running tests where it hides counts on posts in seven different countries in the world. Now, the popular social media platform is expanding its test in the United States. But these major changes might hurt influencers in the long run.
“We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health”, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said at the Wired25 conference today. “We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform, how it affects how they use the platform, how it affects the creator ecosystem.”
Mosseri further explained that “The idea is to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and things that inspire them”. The intention is to “reduce anxiety” and “reduce social comparison”.
While making Instagram less of a popularity contest might be good for the average user, it has to keep in mind that it doesn’t decrease creators’ or influencers’ engagement. These people are vital to the platform’s success and keep their fans engaged. If Instagram finds the impact to be too negative on the influencers, it may not roll the change even if Mosseri has stated that the company wasn’t afraid to hurt its bottom line.
In the tests so far, the likes are hidden from public posts in the Feed on the web and in the profiles. However, you will still be able to see how many likes a post gets. Instagram started its tests in April in Canada and has rolled out to Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. Following this, Facebook has also started its test of hiding like counts in Australia.
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