Technology: Instagram is hiding likes. You may be happier in the end - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyInstagram is hiding likes. You may be happier in the end

15:31  14 august  2019
15:31  14 august  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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How Do Hidden Likes on Instagram Work? Canadian Instagram users have been like -free for over two months now — and it appears that Instagram is now in The “ hiding ” of like counts seems to be purely about helping users share more authentic content without getting caught up in the competition.

What is Instagram without likes ? Some users are about to find out.

Lyndi Cohen's Instagram photos illustrate the power of healthy living. The Australian nutritionist features meals she's prepared for the week and moves gracefully through yoga poses. She also shares side-by-side bikini shots to show how glamorous photos on the social network diverge from real life.

Instagram is hiding likes. You may be happier in the end© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Instagram is testing a way to hide your likes and video views. studioEAST/Getty Images

Still, the 29-year-old grapples with an unhealthy habit: obsessing over how many "likes" her Instagram photos receive.

The number of likes has prompted Cohen to question which photos or videos to share with her 99,700 followers. Even though she knows it's unhealthy, Cohen has compared herself to more-popular Instagram users.

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One group that may be affected is Instagram influencers, the major, minor or micro celebrities who use social media to market products and otherwise influence their hordes of followers. After all, if you post a photo and no one likes it, did you really post it? People can still see how many people liked

Grygiel said that hiding “ likes ” may also encourage users to share more photos, which in turn increases the amount of user data Instagram will If Instagram is making you feel bad about yourself or others, it may be time to evaluate your engagement. READ MORE: You could be losing hundreds

"We can get addicted to chasing likes instead of chasing great content," she said.

Now Instagram is giving Cohen and other users a break from their fixation on likes. In a test that rolled out to more countries last month, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service is hiding the number of likes and video views each post gets, so the rest of the world can't tell how popular it is. You'll still be able to see the likes and video views your posts have gotten, but the public won't.

Instagram is hiding likes. You may be happier in the end© studioEAST/Getty Images

The number of total likes is only available to the account owner.

The move underscores how tech companies are thinking twice about features and products that can wreak havoc on your mental health. Twitter is exploring whether to put likes and retweets behind a user tap in an effort to make conversations easier to follow. Facebook, Apple and Google introduced tools last year to limit your screen time. In July, Pinterest, which scrapped its like button in 2017, released emotional well-being activities, such as deep-breathing exercises and practicing gratitude. Photo app VSCO, an Instagram competitor, doesn't publicly display the number of likes an image receives.

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Hiding likes could alter what Instagram users decide to share on the platform and how they engage with other users. A Facebook spokesperson said Instagram launched the test to "remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive," allowing users to share "authentically and comfortably" on the site.

Earlier this year, a photo of an egg made headlines after it became the most liked photo in the social network's history. The popular image was then used to shine a spotlight on mental health.

Reducing the stress that comes with living online isn't simply about the health of users. Social media companies know that dialing down the pressure could be good for their businesses. After all, if users don't view social networks as positive places, it could make them wary about logging back on to the sites.

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That ’s the idea behind Instagram now hiding Like counts from both a post’s viewers as part of an experiment in Even though Like totals would still impact how the algorithm ranks a post in the feed, if rolled out Users might be less likely to delete a photo or video because it didn’t get enough Likes

One group that may be affected is Instagram "influencers," the major, minor or micro-celebrities who use social media to market products and otherwise influence their hordes of followers. After all, if you post a photo and no one likes it, did you really post it? People can still see how many people liked

Facebook said it's excited by the early test results. Interviews with a handful of people participating in the test suggest that some users think hiding likes will improve their mental health. Others worry it'll lead to a drop in user engagement, making it harder for them to promote products they market on Instagram.

Turning social media on its head

Instagram is hiding likes. You may be happier in the end© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. The number of total likes is available only to the account owner. Instagram

Hiding likes could change the way users behave on Instagram, just as the invention of the like button altered how people acted on Facebook and other sites. The like button, commonplace now, fueled the competitive nature of social media, transforming many sites into popularity contests.

"The like button turned social media on its head," said Adam Alter, an associate professor of marketing and psychology at New York University. "Each like is a proxy for social approval, so having a post with lots of likes places you higher on the social status ladder than does having fewer or -- in the worst case, zero -- likes."

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Hiding Like counts could reduce herd mentality, where people just Like what’s already got tons of Likes . It could reduce the sense of competition on Instagram , since users won’t compare their own counts with those of more popular friends or superstar creators. And it could encourage creators to

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Alter, who's also the author of a book about the addictive nature of technology, says the success of the experiment depends on how Instagram decides what posts to show in a person's feed. The company's algorithm uses different factors, including engagement metrics such as how many likes a post receives, to decide what to show higher in a person's feed.

Hiding likes, he said, "lessens the public value" but users are still being privately rewarded for how many likes their posts attract.

Instagram tested hiding likes in Canada before expanding the experiment to Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand in July. Instagram declined to say if the test will be released in the US or globally to its more than 1 billion monthly active users.

Kasey Lahue, a designer for Sour Bags & Totes, thinks Instagram should scrap the idea. Since the experiment started, Lahue has noticed a drop in engagement. Her Instagram photos used to typically get more than a dozen likes in the first 30 minutes. Now the 35-year-old Canadian says, she gets about eight likes after three hours.

"It was meant to help people not focus on likes as much, but in my opinion has made it worse," Lahue said. "If they want to keep the idea, then maybe loosen that algorithm a little so small businesses don't fall into the abyss."

Instagram doubles down on test to hide likes

Instagram doubles down on test to hide likes Instagram is doubling down on its test to conceal your likes. The test is expanding to more countries, including Ireland, Brazil and Australia.

Instagram is going to stop showing how many people have liked some of its users posts. On the filters page, scroll to the end , tap Manage, then drag and drop the ones you want to reorder, and Instagram Stories has been a massive hit since it came out last year, but you might not know that

Late last week, it became known that Instagram will now be hiding Likes in six countries (as first reported by While the intention behind these features might be well and good, the changes Now that Facebook essentially controls all facets of Instagram , this is simply a move in the same direction.

Instagram says it doesn't have plans to change the service's algorithm, which determines which posts it promotes, or get rid of likes and video views altogether. The company is also gathering feedback from businesses and creators about the experiment.

Toronto-based Hashtag Paid surveyed nearly 200 Canadian creators from June 15 to July 1 after Instagram started hiding likes for some users in that country. The marketing company found that 51% of respondents no longer saw likes in their feeds. More than half of all respondents saw their likes fall, and 18% of creators who had their likes hidden saw a dramatic drop. Users also noticed a slowdown in follower growth and fewer comments on their posts.

Mellissah Smith, who runs a marketing firm in Australia and the US called Marketing Eye, says small and medium-size businesses have also seen engagement drop. If it keeps up, business owners, many of whom use Instagram to sell their own clothing or jewelry, may have to pay for more advertising to get their posts seen higher in people's feeds, she said.

Something pleasurable

Seeing a drop in likes isn't surprising. A 2016 study by UCLA showed that teens were significantly more likely to like a photo if other people liked it too. The researchers attributed the behavior to peer pressure. Viewing photos with lots of likes also activated a region of a teenager's brain that's triggered when people experience something pleasurable, like eating chocolate or winning money, the researchers found.

Alex Hayes, a surfer and creator, felt the pressure when he was a teenager to post images that attracted Instagram likes. The desire for likes was magnified four years ago, when he photoshopped a shark into a selfie as a joke and the image went viral.

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How Instagram hiding likes could impact your social media use. Instagram has rolled out a new " You need to make your customers happy , but at the same time, you need to be confident in what "It might be scary for people at first, but I think it might be a really good, positive change in the end ."

Instagram may also show you Stories that accounts you follow have liked , or were liked by a large Plus, if you drive enough engagement on your video, you might even end up on the Explore page By getting Instagram users to tag their friends (or three) in the comments, you can draw more

Hayes, 21, says the itch for social approval has affected what he's posted. When Instagram users and celebrities posted photos from FaceApp, an app that alters your face to make you look older, Hayes jumped on the bandwagon envisioning the reaction he'd get.

"The funny thing is I did post it but deleted it because it just didn't suit my content," he said. "It's not me."

Removing likes will encourage people to pursue creativity, rather than chase approval, he says.

Cohen, the nutritionist, says she hasn't seen engagement drop since Instagram started the test. Hiding likes and video views has encouraged her to take more risks, such as posting raw video footage of a mannequin that's too small to fit the clothing it's wearing.

She already gave the test her Instagram stamp of approval.

"Goodbye to likes," Cohen posted. "Hello to mental health."

Instagram is hiding likes. You may be happier in the end© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
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