DENVER — The number of “likes” under several users’ Instagram photos will disappear this week. Users will still be able to like each other’s posts, but only the photo’s owner can see how many likes their photo received.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, tweeted last week:
Heads up! We've been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We're expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the US next week. Looking forward to the feedback!
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) November 9, 2019
Instagram hopes the change will encourage young people to share photos without pressure to obtain a high number of likes. Some users have even removed posts because their photos didn’t receive enough likes.
”People think ‘Oh I’ve only gotten 100 likes on this, it’s not doing that well.’ It affects mental health ,” said Paige Cluff, a young Instagram user, “We see social media influencers with thousands of likes. This would help bring us all to the same level.”
Alex Kurylan, co-owner is Denver Selfie Museum, says he notices teenagers spend the most time trying to snap the perfect photo.
“I’m pretty sure teens come here for the likes. They’re working so hard on pictures — different face expressions, lips, everything. Families who come in are here for fun,” said Kurylan.
Kurylan doesn’t have a personal Instagram account, but prefers likes stay visible from a business standpoint. He doesn’t believe likes should validate an individual, but says they do help validate a business.
“Say a business has 50,000 followers, but you go through their pictures and they only have a couple hundred likes. You can tell they purchased those followers,” explained Kurylan.
According to Instagram, users will begin to see their followers’ likes disappear this week.