Would Instagram be a better place without likes?
The Verge reports that an “unreleased” feature for Instagram that would make “your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get” might not remain untested forever. Of course, the discovery of this kind of feature, unreleased or not, was enough to launch speculation on the Internet about a world without likes.
To be clear, the feature that the company is thinking about wouldn’t get rid of likes entirely. It would just make them something only the account owner could see, not the general public.
You’ll still be able to like pictures. You just won’t see how many other likes the picture has received.
Instagram told The Verge, “We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.”
The general user experience isn’t the only thing that Instagram has in mind, however.
The UK’s Independent reports that Instagram, among other social media companies, is being pressured by the British Information Commissioner’s Office to decrease the influence of likes etc. in the future.
In a report issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Independent says it “suggests that such features should be banned entirely on websites that can't be sure whether or not their users are under-18. The suggested rules on likes and streaks are just one of a whole range of wide-ranging changes to the way social media sites could work.”
It might not be a bad idea, especially given how many people put themselves in danger for an Instagram post (or even destroy public property). A sea change might be just the thing social media needs right now.
What do you think? Do you think a world without likes would be a better place for us all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.