Instagram’s distinguished “influencers” were sent into a panic after a technical glitch concealed “likes” from many users’ posts, in what the platform called a “bug” as it experiments with doing away with “likes” for good.
While Instagram clarified the move was in error – saying it’s been “testing a new experience to hide likes on Feed posts,” but that it “unintentionally added more people to the test” due to a “bug” – the site’s blue checks were no less perturbed, flooding Twitter to lament the loss of their “likes.”
So Instagram …did not mean to hide likes for everyone ? https://t.co/Z9Yy9R6XBM
— Instagram (@instagram) March 3, 2021
“If Instagram thinks I won’t manually count my likes they don’t know how much validation I need from strangers on the internet,” one user joked.
Texas took away the masks, Instagram took away the likes….please lord I can’t take any more ???
— RAVEN ELYSE (@RavenElyseTV) March 3, 2021
Instagram laughing at influencers because people can’t see their total likes.. pic.twitter.com/kK9JMTFXZC
— Ry (@JustRyCole) March 3, 2021
Did we… know Instagram was removing likes today? Snatched them thangs away like pic.twitter.com/vpebqSp5T4
— Sylvia (@SylviaObell) March 3, 2021
Instagram has discussed sending public “likes” the way of the dodo since 2019, rolling out a like-less site on a limited, trial basis in a number of countries, beginning with Canada and expanding to Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and finally, in November 2019, the United States. CEO Adam Mosseri explained the move was meant to improve the emotional wellbeing and self-esteem of users, especially on the younger end.
“It’s about young people,” Mosseri said in 2019. “The idea is to try to ‘depressurize’ Instagram, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with the people that they love, things that inspire them.”
While many high-profile Instagrammers have decried the decision, a few citing more practical reasons beyond pure vanity, some have welcomed it as a “progressive” and “humanitarian” improvement to the site.
So Instagram got rid of likes and I honestly feel like that’s the most mentally progressive thing they’ve done all year
— Demi Grace (@IamDemiGrace) March 3, 2021
so instagram got rid of likes and i think that was one of the most humanitarian moves they could have made. a world where kids grow up measuring their lives by likes never sat well with me.
— ?????????. (@ImanEurope) March 3, 2021
so i guess i’m the only person who’s happy that instagram took away likes
— gh (@GabbieHanna) March 3, 2021
One observer attempted to calm the irate “influencers,” explaining that while “likes” may eventually be hidden from public view, they will still appear in a private dashboard, allowing engagement-conscious users to measure the popularity of their posts to their hearts’ content.
Why do people keep saying because Instagram removed likes, now influencers can’t make money???♂️ all influencers have a dashboard with their insights/analytics. So you just screenshot them and send that to the said sponsor.
— BEN BALLER™ (@BENBALLER) March 3, 2021
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