Instagram Makes Likes Private


Taylor Jackson

Most liked photo on Instagram, almost 54 million likes

Counting the number of likes on Instagram may be a thing of the past. The app recently launched an update in several parts of the world that made the number of likes on a post private from other people’s profiles.

The reasoning behind the app hiding likes is to lessen symptoms of mental illness associated with social media. Researchers have found that the increased use of social media in the past decade has caused an increase in users’ anxiety, ADHD, paranoia, loneliness, or more. Instagram believes that the pressure and anxiety some users feel from the app can be lessened if the number of likes is private to other users. However, not everyone agrees with Instagram’s strategy.

Thousands of people who use the app are known as “influencers” and are paid to post pictures sponsoring products. These Instagram users are picked from people who have a large amount of followers and receive a steady amount of likes on their photos. Without the knowledge of the number of likes on a photo, these influencers may lose money from big companies. 

When asked about this issue, senior Quinlyn Jacob stated, “I understand the purpose of hiding likes, however, I think it is unnecessary and is harmful to influencers who make money off of the number of likes on their posts. Those influencers are paid by a company to post about their product/service, and the number of likes their post gets affects their pay. Overall, this change is more harmful than helpful in my opinion.”

Taylor Jackson
Second most liked photo on Instagram. Posted by popular influencer Kylie Jenner.

Although the update has not been approved for the United States yet, users across the nation are waiting for the update to launch for them. Reviews have been mostly negative online in areas where the update has launched.

Instagram user, Charlie Buckmaster stated, “I think it is not a good idea. Instagram is meant to be an interactive app and likes are a big part of it. For people who are intimidated by the number of likes a photo gets, they should consider deleting the app or their profile.” 

Instagram is receiving feedback about the update from the areas where it launched, and the reviews are very indecisive. However, unless a drastic change is made, all users can expect an update in the near future.