Imagine a world where no one can see how many followers or likes you have on Instagram. Terrifying. Now, imagine being an influencer and that being the reality. Double terrifying.
Fast Company reports that Instagram is experimenting with hiding likes and followers from users. Researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered the development and shared a screenshot on Twitter. Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that the design is an internal prototype not visible to the public yet.
"Instagram is testing hiding like count from audiences, as stated in the app: 'We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,'" Wong wrote under her shots of how it'd look.
Fans of the social platform had mixed reactions. Some people loved it because it would take the pressure off of curating feeds for likes, and other people were worried about the incoming reality of an influencer apocalypse.
An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch that “we’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.” Presumably, the new feature would be Instagram's way of addressing validation culture, which has been proven in recent years to directly affect the mental health and self-esteem of users.
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