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Instagram puts the focus back onto photos

3rd May 2019

Instagram is currently experimenting with a new feature that will disable like counts on photos and videos posted to the app.

After months of speculation, Instagram finally revealed at the Facebook F8 annual Conference, that they will, in fact, test a new feature that doesn’t display the numbers of public likes a post has. Since then, users in Canada have noticed a change on their feed.

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“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram states in a message displayed to users in the test. “During this test, only you will be able to see the total number of likes on your posts.”

It’s no surprise that Instagram has taken such drastic action. The image app giant was rated as the worst social media platform when it comes to its impact on young people’s mental health, a UK snapshot survey found. 

The poll asked 1,479 people aged 14-24 to score popular apps on issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image. 

Instagram said keeping the platform a safe and supportive place for young people was a top priority, which may be the reason for the latest announcement.

According to reports, users will still be able to see who likes their content, not how many people do. Influencers and digital marketers alike have expressed their concerns about this, as their content depends on likes and being able to report back to brands on individual results.

At this stage, it’s still unclear whether Instagram will make this a permanent feature – does it really matter if they do? Tweet us your thoughts @gomedia.

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