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Home / Technology / Instagram has quantified our popularity, and now it wants to fix it

Instagram has quantified our popularity, and now it wants to fix it



Instagram announced a major change in April: users in Canada would start testing a new feature that would hide the number of likes they receive. The announcement came with uncertainty about how the way we use Instagram would change. But after a few months in the test, people seem to love it.

"Without realizing that Likes now count on feed posts, I focus more clearly on the actual quality of the posted content," says user Matt Dusenbury I via Instagram direct message.

People in the test group can still see the number of likes they've collected while typing. Everyone else, however, can not. According to Instagram, the goal is to "focus on the photos and videos you share instead of those you like". Users are automatically included in the test. However, you can unsubscribe. The company has not yet shared data on how effectively hiding likes has affected people's placement habits. In the past week, however, the test has been extended to six more countries, suggesting encouraging results.

Emily Hall, another user, says she took a break from Instagram before the Likes test came out. If she's writing now, she's not "obsessed with the number of messages I've received," she tells me about DM. "I think that's because I knew other people who saw my photos were me preventively judging by the number of likes I had in my photo or the number of likes compared to the time a photo was posted. "

Both Hall and Dusenbury fear that users care more about the number at the end of a post than about the post itself, and say that the number of hidden "likes" numbers allows people to look at the photos to concentrate. "I'm less inclined to judge in advance by looking first at the number of likes and then the actual photo," Dusenbury said. "On the other hand, there is less pressure to publish the perfect image in the hope of making amazing likes, which I find refreshing."

The people I talked to say that they feel freer to post what they want, as what they know gets a lot of likes. Another user, Nikola Lubura, says he used to shy away from posting photos of himself, but he's more confident now that he's not worried about people seeing his way of counting. "Now I do not concentrate on the number anymore, but on the people," he says. "I look and see who liked my post and not how many. It used to feel like one big competition and now it's relaxing and liberating.

For companies or inventors, the change did not make much of a difference: their accounts still provide very detailed metrics, up to how many people their account does not have on a given day In addition, they can see and track the number of likes in their own content.

Brenda Cardenas, who creates augmented reality facial filters for Instagram, says these metrics make her more aware of her content than ever before In one week, she published more personal content about her workload and saw more than usual procedures, which led her to believe that her content was bad, in fact the photos performed well and had many likes. "Without seeing this information and just seeing the consequences has left it feeling bad, "she says about DM." Removing data i Not the solution to relieve pressure. "

Of course, Cardenas can still show her own preferences. However, when she looks at her analysis, she focuses more on the consequences and her total account than on individual posts. As reporter Kaitlyn Tiffany points out in The Goods by Vox hiding likes does not condemn influencers to a life without sponsors. As always, the data about Likes and Commitment will remain on the platform. The only difference is that users know that their number of likes is hidden.

Likes were an integral part of Instagram right from the start. They built people and tore them down. You have served as a content validator. Although hiding Likes could have been a sudden, unwanted change, users seem to love it, and it could be one of the most profound changes the platform has made in recent years.


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