The US will be joining other regions in testing a like-free world for Instagram as the FACEBOOK division says that the rollout could be anytime this coming week.
While no one is expecting the world to end, an Instagram without likes could be a better world for us all. At least that’s the hope of many but, as you can imagine, this change has not gone over well with a certain vocal segment of the Instagram user base: The influencers.
As The Verge reports, Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri announced the test at the WIRED25 conference. Interestingly, his comments revealed that the test will first roll out to select regions in the United States instead of the whole country.
When he asked the audience for some kind of reaction to the idea of getting rid of likes, the audience at WIRED25 offered up a tepid response though the somewhat awkward pause was saved by one of the two hosts who pointed out that it was about making Instagram a better environment for younger users.
This prompted Mosseri to confirm that, yes, it was about young people and “depressurizing” Instagram for them. Readers of this blog are likely well acquainted with stories of bullying and tragedy inspired by the pursuit of Instagram likes.
It’s definitely a modern iteration of a timeless phenomenon but that doesn’t make it any less tragic.
Nonetheless, “likes” are used by the above mentioned “influencer” demographic to gauge their organic reach and interactions with users. A huge business in and of itself, the fact that likes are still visible to the account holder and not the general public, thus making the metric available for business purposes if you like, doesn’t hold much sway as it makes harder to be “discovered” we guess.
What do you think? Is getting rid of likes a good thing for Instagram? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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