There has been some controversy surrounding Instagram’s new effort to focus on users’ mental health. The need to paint a picture of perfection on social media is becoming more and more important to users, and Instagram wants to help stop that. But is that the company’s only motive?
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced that the platform would begin hiding likes for U.S. users earlier this year. In November, he explained that the idea behind it was to “depressurize Instagram and make it less of a competition and give people more space to connect with people they love and inspire them.”
As reported in a recent Grit Daily article, the social media platform isn’t completely doing away with “like” counts. You will still be able to see how many “likes” your post gets, but you won’t be able to see how many “likes” other people’s posts receive.
However, online pressure to be perfect might not be the only reason Instagram is removing this feature. Three former Facebook employees told CNBC that the company believes removing the “like” count will increase the amount of posts on the platform due to people feeling less self-conscious about posting. The former employees wanted to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
This theory makes sense. More posts equals more time spent on the app. When people spend more time on the app then they are able to see more ads. All of this means more money for Instagram. So it seems to be a win for both sides. Users’ spend less time worrying about what people think, and Instagram gets more traction. But it might be a different story for those who use Instagram as a way to make money.