Wondering why Instagram and Facebook are scrapping likes? Well, so are we! So, we thought we would do a little digging and this is what we found out!
First of all, let’s see how it all started!
This April, Instagram started its test – not publishing the number of likes on posts in users’ feeds. Yet, they later announced that it was only a bug that affected certain users in multiple countries. And, according to new information, Instagram is now considering scrapping likes completely.
Following this social media giant, Facebook has also started a test on its own. It also aims to introduce a change and remove the thumbs-up button from its platform. Still, it will first conduct the test in Australia for a limited number of users and will make the likes visible only to posts’ authors.
So, why are Instagram and Facebook doing this?
Namely, like counts have largely contributed to users’ obsession with self-quantification, envy, and constant comparison. What was once designed to hook people on social media, has now become a threat to users’ mental health.
Likes on Social Media give people affirmation and validation while increasing endorphinw at the same time. And, once these levels go up, people just want more and more.
So, how can this removal of like counts affect social media users?
It may not be the perfect solution to the constant pursuit of affirmation and validation, or the feeling of anxiety and envy, but it may eventually have a positive effect and reduce such negative emotions a bit.
Experts in digital anthropology suggest that humans show an extremely strong impulse for aspiration, belonging, and acceptance, that they won’t easily give up on the public like counts. According to them, they may even come up with a whole new way to express their opinion by using abbreviations, emojis, or slang. In other words, people will become more creative and open to experiments.
Still, from the social platforms’ point of view, scrapping likes completely can make people feel more comfortable with their own believes and tastes, leading them to like the content they genuinely like, not only because others liked it.
To sum up, these current Instagram and Facebook tests have already proven to have a huge impact on social media users. Just imagine how interesting and effective it would be to eliminate likes entirely!