No More Doing It For The ‘Gram: Instagram Rolls Out New Plan To Remove Likes

Afro Woman yachtning and taking selfie

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Instagram launched in 2010 and no one could’ve predicted the global phenomenon it would soon become–well no one except for the wise guys at Facebook. Facebook acquired the photo app just 18 months after its launch, and since then, the social media platform has gone on to consume our time and our lives.

But now the app is looking to make one of its biggest shifts since its birth–removing likes. Likes are the currency to building coveted “influencer” status–a marker of fame that can turn your average Joe or Jane seemingly into a celebrity overnight. Influencers caught the attention of advertisers and sponsors looking to “natively” introduce their products to audiences. These partnerships led to a lot of money and capital for individuals over the years–with those with 1 million followers and up earning around $10,000 to $250,000 per post.

But now removing “likes” threatens to pop the already vulnerable influencer bubble. As Instagram rolls out the new format overseas, users are wondering what the changes will mean for their social media consumption.

“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement, according to BBC. 

The change is also meant to encourage users to use the platform in the way it was originally intended, hoping, “this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story”.

Continuing,  Adam Mosseri, Instagram chief in Canada said, “We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about.”

So far the roll out has taken place in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil.

What do you think of the changes?