Instagram Is Starting to Hide Likes and Cardi B Is Unimpressed

Illustration for article titled Instagram Is Starting to Hide Likes and Cardi B Is Unimpressed
Photo: CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

During an event on Friday, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that the company is going to expand a long-rumored experiment of hiding “likes” on the app. As Mosseri explains it, this change is part of Instagram’s push to become a healthier platform for its users.

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While this is great news to curb my shameless selfie posting (cue me resisting the temptation to link to my Instagram account), it is more concerning for influencers, whose livelihood is dependent on being able to prove to sponsors and advertisers that they have an engaged following.

Influencers have been integral to the growth and success of Instagram—though the platform seems to oscillate between implementing features deliberately intended to help support influencers and making changes that will undoubtedly interfere with their success. Instagram has already implemented this “demetrication” experiment in other countries, and according to Business Insider, influencers are beginning to suffer.

Affected influencers have already noticed their posts are getting fewer likes and less engagement, pushing their posts farther down in Instagram’s algorithmic feed. Some have expressed concerns it’ll affect their reach and ability to grow on the platform.

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The outcome of this change seems... obvious. All social media platforms are about appearances, but this is particularly true for Instagram, a platform that literally revolves around images.

While this change could potentially help with the concern that like counts can damage young people’s self-esteem, it neglects to address one of the most notoriously toxic spaces on any social media platform—the comments section.

In a video posted to her Instagram on Saturday night, Cardi B discussed why she thinks the comments on Instagram have a bigger influence on the dynamics of the platform than the likes.

If anything is affecting Instagram right now, I really feel it’s the way the comments have been done or have been changing these past few years. Because I feel people been saying the most weirdest shit, been starting the craziest arguments, been starting to race bait, all because of comments, because they want to get to the top, they want to get the most reactions.

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Once again, Cardi has a better analysis of an issue than the majority of people who are paid to make these of decisions. We love to see it.

Freelance writer who loves sandwiches, astrology, & fighting on the internet.

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DISCUSSION

JiminyCricket
JiminyCricket

Here’s the thing - any large company or platform that has a lot to lose is clearly only making significant changes because they believe it will somehow improve their bottom line. My issue with this change is that I fail to see *how* this will improve Instagram’s revenue or other key metrics. They absolutely do not care about young people’s self-esteem (given, as mentioned above, they are not stopping or moderating comments somehow). However, other than than having to click one extra time to see the number of likes on posts (during which time I see no additional advertising), I’m not sure how this benefits them unless that extra click counts for a lot more than I am thinking it would.

Someone please enlighten me.