Later this week, Instagram may be completely removing the number of “likes” on posts in Canada in an attempt to make their platform a healthier place for users.
Recently, several social media corporations have come under fire after contributing to technology addictions and the spread of abusive information. According to a study from Pyschological Science, when teenagers see a high number of “likes” on their posts, the same brain circuits that are activated by winning money and indulging in chocolate are triggered.
#BreakingSocial: Tests are underway in Canada to remove visibility of Likes from Instagram. The focus on vanity metrics is intended to remove the popularity metric on Instagram, although Likes will still impact algorithmic factors. Creator commerce is also coming to the app. pic.twitter.com/zJ2BD8r0qd
— Social Chain (@TheSocialChain) May 1, 2019
The Facebook Inc. platform is attempting to mirror other social media companies’ efforts, including Twitter Inc., in order to create apps that have a more positive effect on mental wellness. Earlier this year, Twitter released a prototype application that makes the number of likes and retweets less visible to make the platform more focused on the content instead of a tweet’s engagements. If a user would like to see the number of likes and retweets on a reply in a conversation, that user would have to actually go in and click on the tweet itself.
“Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views,” Facebook explained, according to Bloomberg. “We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
As a result, individual users will be able to view the number of likes on their own posts by tapping the “Likers” list, but the information will be unavailable to other users. Additionally, Facebook Inc. revealed that the move is only in the exploratory phase, so the features in the test may not become permanent.