Instagram is something that many people start and end their day with. While many use it to post their personal lives others use it to connect with their audience and create a niche for their brands. However, the platform has decided to hide the number of likes from the public, except the author.
In a recent interview, Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, stated, “The idea is to de-pressurise Instagram”, making it a less competitive space and more focused on connections, conversations and community, especially for young people.
Edith Dawa, 25, currently preparing for NEET, feels that the number of likes makes a post obvious that it is good or not so good, as it is the direct review from people themselves. “I have a startup, which is completely based on Instagram. People look for the likes and comments and then decide to buy or not to buy stuff from my page. But if Instagram hides people from seeing the likes then it will definitely affect my business. People won’t get to know the real value of the product nor will the review matter. I think this move will separate people rather than bringing them together.”
While this step won’t affect users who get less than 20-30 likes, Kshitij, 22, a fourth year BTech student feels that it will definitely impact social media influencers. “For people who get less than 30 likes on average per post, depending on what their friends are doing, it doesn’t matter, but it will definitely impact the influencers and others who depend on likes to measure their engagement on the platform.”
Like Dawa, many users are not appreciating the move, calling it an attempt to curb the freedom that the platform has been known for. But others are welcoming the move as it will helps people decrease their obsession with the number of likes. Sangte Taku, 25, Japanese language student studying at Mosai says, “I don’t really get the idea of the obsession that comes with the number of ‘likes’ you get on Instagram. Apparently, there are people who take the number of ‘likes’ as some sort of validation, which is really a sad thing. If this move of hiding the ‘likes’ can in anyway help in tackling this grave situation, I say yes to it.”
In agreement is Mampie Natung, 20, a second year student from LSR, DU. “I don’t think of the decision necessarily in terms of good or bad, because that depends on personal perspective. That being said, it definitely helps curb the preoccupation with getting likes and the subsequent obsession with popularity.”
Few even believe this step will create a more private space for users. “It is a very good move that will allow us to use Instagram more freely. It is obvious that we post very different things than those which we like to see or search on Instagram and sometimes we don’t want others to see what we see or like. It makes the use of Instagram more private,” says Mayank Laleria, 22, an MA student from JNU.