Instagram test “No-Likes” Version in United States

On November 8, Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, announced on his Twitter that they were expanding testing making likes private to the United States and the initial response is divided.

Instagram was developed on October 6, 2010 in San Francisco by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. It is a popular teen app where you are free to post whatever you want as long as it is appropriate; if it is not, Instagram will remove it. 

Since its start, Instagram has evolved into a competition app. It is also one of the most popular apps today, along with Titkok, Snapchat and Vsco. This popularity is not limited to teen use. In a 2019 study done by the Pew Research Center, 75% of 18-24-year-olds reported using Instagram. 

“I do think [Instagram] has longevity and I don’t think it’s going away any time soon,” influencer Danielle Bernstein said in an interview with Yahoo! Finance.

People tend to post at a certain “gram time” to get the most likes, since they are in competition with one another on the platform. If an Instagram user does not get the amount of likes she/he is looking for, they will most likely archive the post. Archived Instagram posts can be viewed only by the owner, who also has the ability to take it out of the archive at any time. 

Likes = clout. And the resulting problem is that we live in a society where followers and likes are too often used to define oneself. With the new Instagram update to the “no likes” version, only you (the owner) can see who likes your content, no one else. Unlike previous versions, it now says “liked by” one person you follow “and others” instead of showing individual likes. 

“Removing the likes will be a good test for mental health and the way that that’s affecting our youth,” Bernstein added.

The impact of Instagram (and really, all social media apps) on our generation (meaning teens) is rather depressing. In a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, 45% of teens said they are online on a near-constant basis. This is proof that people live for the likes rather than living in the moment.

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