Instagram hides likes for select accounts worldwide

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Megan Schneider
ONLINE REPORTER

A graphic of an instagram like being burned
Instagram is currently testing a version of the app without likes. Graphic by Mars Nevada/the Gateway

The heart button used to like a photo on Instagram will soon be hidden for select users around the country, according to CNN. The company, owned by Facebook, began removing likes in countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy and New Zealand.

Instagram announced that it will hide likes from United States users as a part of its testing.

The feature allows a user to view the total number of people who liked their posts and their individual name but hides the amount of likes from everyone else.

Users who are included in the test will no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos in their feed or profile.

“While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community,” said a spokesperson for Facebook in a statement.

Many people have praised this move due to the competitive nature of social media in today’s modern era, according to CBS News. However, other social media content creators and bloggers think this approach will affect how the influencer industry makes money due to their big following.

Kylie Jenner earns $1 million for one sponsored post on Instagram due to the growing influencer industry and market, according to Elle. The growth of influencer marketing on Instagram and YouTube platforms is expected to be $6.5 billion to $8 billion by the end of 2019.

The influencer industry raises questions and concerns about the long-term impact on the lives of children. A popular career aspiration for a child is to become a social media star, according to a survey reported by CBS News.

“Influencer marketing continues to evolve and we’re committed to working with regulators, brands, and influencers on best practices and enforcement,” said Instagram in a statement.

Hiding likes caught the attention of artists, influencers and celebrities. Nicki Minaj said she will stop posting on the photo sharing app, according to Elle magazine.

“The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram. Make it less of a competition. Give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them,” said Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri.

People who use Instagram frequently, particularly younger individuals, spend a great amount of time on the app.

“Likes were always a bad metric. They are very easy to manipulate and don’t actually convey the level of excitement someone has about something,” said Gil Eyal, HYPR founder and chief executive officer.

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