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Instagram considers hiding likes, making life as an influencer difficult

Harper's Bazaar (UK) logo Harper's Bazaar (UK) 23/04/2019 The Editors

A man takes a photo of the London skyline with his smartphone © Alexander Spatari A man takes a photo of the London skyline with his smartphone Instagram is considering hiding likes in a bid to reduce social media pressure. If the idea is implemented, it would mean that posts would no longer show many people have liked a specific post, only that it was liked by a few named handles "and others".

Users will still be able to monitor how many likes a photo receives, but the outside world won't. The decision would have a big impact on influencers, who use the number of likes to demonstrate their popularity and resonance with their followers. If companies can't see publicly how much engagement a post receives, then it's likely to affect sponsorship deals and brand partnerships.

a person wearing glasses holding up a cellphone: Instagram is considering hiding likes in a bid to reduce social media pressure. If the idea is implemented, it would mean that posts would no longer show many people have liked a specific post, only that it was liked by a few named handles "and others". © Getty Images Instagram is considering hiding likes in a bid to reduce social media pressure. If the idea is implemented, it would mean that posts would no longer show many people have liked a specific post, only that it was liked by a few named handles "and others". “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram says in an in-app message explaining the change, reports Tech Crunch. “During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”

Watch: Instagram's new update that sparked outrage was just a test [Newsweek]

The move could also be a response to numerous reports that Instagram and its idealised version of perfection negatively impacts mental health. Receiving a small number of likes is, for some, an indicator of low popularity. A spokesperson for the social media platform said "exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about". 

In pictures: The 20 best smartphones in the world [Business Insider]

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