Instagram mistakenly hid likes from more users than intended, but promises they will fix the issue.
For the past few years, celebrities and mental health experts have preached that showing the number of likes on social media is doing more harm than good. For the newer generations, likes and social media clout is a very real factor in daily life. They grew up on social media since day one, where other generations simply had to adapt and never had the world at their fingertips until they were adults.
To the surprise of almost everyone, yesterday, Instagram removed the likes for millions of users. Many were upset about the move, while others thought it was a long time overdue. According to Complex, this was simply a mistake on Instagram’s behalf.
“We’ve been testing a new experience to hide likes on Feed posts,” the tweet read. “We unintentionally added more people to the test today, which was a bug — we’re fixing this issue and restoring like counts to those people as soon as possible.”
Instagram has been researching the pros and cons of removing likes for years now. In 2019, the social media platform announced that it would begin experimenting with hiding likes for select users around the globe with the hopes of improving user experiences. A spokesperson from Instagram had this to say at the time about the move:
“We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. […] We understand that this is important for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for them to communicate value to their brand partners.”
Adam Mosseri who is the head of Instagram echoed a similar sentiment, saying that he hopes removing likes from the platform will help to “make it less of a competition” and “give people more space to focus on connecting with people they love” and “things that inspire them.”
“But it’s really focused on young people. We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform, how it affects how they use the platform…,” he added.
Instagram will begin to remove likes permanently from the platform starting next week.
So far, the company’s findings have been kept internal, but it will be interesting to see how users react to the move once it goes into full effect.
You can watch Adam explain more about the company’s decision down below.