Instagram tests to hide likes in 6 countries
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After receiving many criticisms for the negative impacts on the mental health of young users, on July 18, Instagram has officially hidden "likes" on the background. platform in Australia, Brazil, and some other major markets to reduce the pressure on users. Instagram, a photo-sharing network owned by Facebook, applies this measure in 6 countries. With the new policy, users in these countries do not see the number of likes for other people's posts.
In the new announcement, Facebook's Chief Policy Officer in Australia and New Zealand, Mia Garlick said Facebook hopes the test will help users release pressure on likes that their posts receive, and since then focus on sharing what they love, build Instagram into a place where people always feel comfortable expressing themselves. With the new policy being tested, the users will not see likes for personal profiles, main image notifications or related pages.
Instagram users will still be able to view the total number of likes of their own posts but will have to click to access another page. The Instagram spokesperson confirmed that the testing policy was applied to make sure other Instagram's followers would focus more on shared photos or videos, not on likes that the posts receive. Instagram also said that this policy will not affect the evaluation tools for businesses using this social network to promote their products.
Six countries that Instagram tested the new policy including Australia, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Brazil, and New Zealand after their first trial in Canada last May. Despite saying that this is a test program, Instagram did not specify a deadline.
As an application that allows users to post images and videos so others can click like or comment, Instagram currently has more than 1 billion users worldwide. The new policy is tested after some research suggests that Instagram can negatively affect the mental health of young users. A study by the Royal Society for Public Health in England in 2017 rated Instagram as a social media platform that has the worst impact on the mental health of young people in this country. Another survey conducted with the 2018 American teenagers by the Pew Research Center pointed out that nearly 40% of respondents felt pressure to share only contents that received more likes or comments.
A week ago, Instagram also implemented new features to limit bullying on social networks using artificial intelligence. In February, in a young user's mental health protection effort, Instagram also restricted self-destructive images.
By: Gitta Russell