Instagram is testing a feature that will allow users to hide Likes, both in other users’ posts and in their own.
One of the downsides of social media is the pressure many users feel to be popular. Younger users are especially vulnerable to the pressure, and will often agonize about whether something is worth posting — not based on the validity of the post, but on whether it is likely to go viral.
Instagram is working on a way to address the problem by giving users the ability to hide Likes, according to TechCrunch. The company is testing whether removing Likes is a long-term solution, as users are torn on whether they want them hidden or visible.
Instagram also hopes the ability to hide Likes will pave the way for posts to be seen and appreciated more fairly, based on their own merit. In contrast, many posts currently achieve popularity simply because of how many Likes they have, while other posts are ignored just because they haven’t gone viral and don’t have as many Likes.
It remains to be seen whether Instagram’s strategy will work but, if it does, it could be a step in the right direction toward addressing much of what is wrong with social media.