Instagram is running a trial to hide likes and comments on its post in six countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape self-identity, express ourselves, and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to our mental health.
Instagram has been receiving a lot of flake lately for not giving much attention to the impact of the app on the mental health on young users. The hunger for likes and achieving “Internet Stardom” overnight is having a long-lasting physical and mental impact on the users.
However, if you look closely the impact is not limited to likes and comments. The “anxiety game” starts from the number of followers to likes to how many people watched their story.
Comments as new likes?
In the absence of likes, comments will mostly likely become the actual indicator of the popularity of a particular post. This is meant to hopefully create some sort of “break” in the mindless scrolling on the app and create some real engagement.
Some of the users who run their business through Instagram are not too happy with the move and believe that this feature will have a negative impact on their intended sales.
Instagram clearly knew this for a very long time, but it is only recently started taking actions on it. According to there Twitter post, they have concluded the trial in Canada.
It will be interesting to see how honestly Instagram will put forth their finding with a solid action plan. Or whether this is entirely meant to be a cleverly disguised PR exercise by Instagram. Let’s hope it is not the case and that they do something substantial to curb the negative impact of social media.