The big day is finally about to arrive: Instagram likes in the United States are set to disappear next week for some users. And just in case you were wondering, yes, that might mean your likes too.
While the concept itself seems completely foreign to U.S. users, according to CNN, Instagram already introduced this test last May in numerous countries including Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. It was rumored that this “new and improved” platform might stay confined to these various countries on a trial and error basis, but as of last week Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, announced on Twitter that the company will begin rolling out the first change to a limited amount of accounts as the test continues. Instagram will operate the same way as it previously did, however, your followers and other users will not be able to see how many likes you’ve accumulated on your photos and videos. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to see your own like counts, it just won’t be public.
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
As a loyal Instagram user, you’re probably thinking that this is a disastrous switch. Why deviate from a platform where the sole purpose is to take photos, post, and like? However, Mosseri’s logic for the change is actually centered around protecting the general population and taking some of the pressure off. “We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health,” Mosseri explained at the WIRED25 Summit in San Francisco. Basically, Instagram is taking an active stance against letting a simple double tap have jurisdiction over your mood.
A transformation like this may be devastating to consider — especially if you’re an influencer that needed likes to monetize your posts— but think about the liberation you can experience knowing that your likes won’t be on display. Your followers won’t know whether you’ve accumulated 10 or 10,000 hearts, and you can still hunt through your likes for your crush’s name too. This will make your rinsta feel more like your finsta, which in the end, just means less to worry about.
Listen, if you can’t justify this switch, take time to step back and unplug, or maybe tap into your less visual side with Twitter or another platform where you can earn your likes. Twitter is easily the hilarious sister of the social media family, get to know her!