INSTAGRAM TO STOP SHOWING LIKES COUNT? #ITSABOUTTIME
Posted By Lauren Barker
Facebook-owned Instagram is to put a stop to showing the number of likes a user’s post has generated – at least for a trial period, anyway. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced this bold proposal back in April, and now it seems his plans are coming into fruition, as the testing will take place over the upcoming summer months.
During this time, users will be able to see who’s liked a post, but it’ll be tougher to see how many likes a post has received – unless, that is, you were to manually count them. The point of it? To help create “a less pressurised environment”, Mosseri says.
He emphasises his statement further by adding “we want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people they care about”.
Mosseri’s feelings are not without merit, as streams of reports have flooded in linking social media and the negative impact it can have on mental health, with Instagram being one of the worst offenders. According to the Royal Society for Public Health, it’s rated as the worst social media platform when it comes to its impact on young people’s mental health, with studies linking a rise in mental health conditions with the increasing use of social media.
In fact, the negative effects of social media are well-documented, with even Facebook executives admitting that the platform may pose a risk to users’ emotional health. Studies on disorders such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems and eating issues have found an association with social media use, and even suicide rates seem to have been affected. The CNC in America recently revealed suicide rates in the US have risen by nearly 25% since 1999, with experts, such as academic psychiatrist, Dr Nassir Ghaemi, concluding that part of the blame must lie with the rise of social media.
Although hiding the number of likes a photo or video receives may seem like a small change, it’s certainly a step towards making social media a happier and less pressurised place – one where people won’t be afraid to post out of fear of rejection from their peers.
Platforms such as Instagram can be a fun and healthy way to engage with friends and family – as well as giving users the ability to stay connected with old friends and share important aspects of their lives. However, with the damage social media can do to a person’s self-esteem and the inflation of mental health conditions – it’s important those in charge of these platforms look into ways to combat these issues. Hopefully small implementations such as this will pave the way for others to follow suit.
What do you think of Instagram’s new changes? Tweet us your thoughts @Peppertweets.
 NHS (2017) accessed online at https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/instagram-ranked-worst-for-mental-health-in-teen-survey/
 Facebook (2017) accessed online at https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/12/hard-questions-is-spending-time-on-social-media-bad-for-us/