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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Instagram tests hide ‘likes’ feature to ease online pressure


Instagram launched a test allowing users to opt out of showing ‘likes’ .

Instagram rolled out a test feature to hide “like counts” this week, in a bid to ease online pressure from social media peers. 

The popular social media app launched the global test on Wednesday, allowing users to choose whether or not they would be interested in hiding ‘like counts’ on their own posts or those by others on the app, a Facebook spokeswoman said. 

“The photo-sharing site, which is owned by Facebook Inc, said this latest test came after seeing mixed responses to its experiments in which it removed likes, commonly used as a measure of popularity,” Reuters reported. 

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As more people connect online, pressure from peers have caused mental health issues in those attempting to compare likes or lifestyle on social media.

Instagram users in particular are known to keep more track of the number of likes they receive on their posts as well as the number of followers, seek social acceptance and popularity in a world consumed by online presence.

In an overly-polished social media era, an increasing number of kids and young adults now face anxiety, stress, depression, and insecurities as influencers and celebrities’ picture-perfect facade standardise the “definition of beauty.”

This has created addictive behaviours and affected people’s mental health, with many correlating their worth based on the amount of interactions they receive on social media. Instagram’s latest feature aims to battle this phenomenon.

“In 2019, we started hiding like counts for a small group of people to understand if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram,” a Facebook spokesperson told news agency AFP.

“We’re testing this on Instagram to start, but we’re also exploring a similar experience for Facebook,” the spokesperson added, saying the social media giant is working with experts to see if such a ‘tweaked feature’ can help the well-being of users on its platform.

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