Instagram is extending its ‘like’ hiding test to the US. The firm had rolled it out to Canada, Japan and other regions earlier this year, and now TechCrunch reports that the US is getting a taste of it soon. In essence, this test makes likes private. Users will still be able to see how many likes they get on their individual photos, but they won’t see anyone else’s, and no one else would see theirs.
“The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connecting ing with the people they love and things that inspire them,” Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri said.
The trend is something that has lead to the growth of alternative social media slash photo editing service — VSCO. Unlike Instagram, VSCO goes a bit further and doesn’t even show follower count. The only thing external users see is what pics you’ve uploaded. The motive for this is the same, a focus on content over potential unhealthy comparisons.
“55% [of respondents] talked about how they’re so aware of the mental health issues that are surrounding them with social media, that they’re carving out time in their daily routine to invest in creativity in order to protect and improve their mental health,” VSCO’s CEO, Joel Flory told Yahoo. “I think they are keenly aware of the impact, and how to operate and navigate, this landscape of social media. They are looking at it from a social operating system, in which they’re using it for themselves and how to better their lives – I think a lot of good can come from that.”
Instagram is clearly trying to take on a similar path, and that’s not a bad thing.