Instagram makes changes, like it or not

Marissa Pekular, West Hills Editor

Instagram recently introduced a new version of their app, in which likes would not be visible. This pilot program has been tested in Australia, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, and Italy since July. Instagram began testing this feature in the U.S. this week, and was met with differing opinions from its users. Not every Instagram user was affected by this version, only a select number.

This is a fundamental change with how users engage with the app. This new version works by allowing other users to see which accounts liked a photo on the app but the number is no longer showing. People will still be able to see how many likes their own post got.

An Instagram spokesperson said, “While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from out global community.”

This change has sparked controversy with Instagram influencers and celebrities, who often structure their careers around this social media app. Many are expressing that without the liking system, their careers will crumble. If nobody likes their content, it will not be as popular and their accounts will lose precedence.

This same problem is a concern for small business owners. In many cases, these businesses cannot afford conventional advertising, so they use Instagram as a means to market their product. It is a free option, and it can prove to be very successful in advertising.

However, without people liking their content, it may not be seen by as many people and again, it may in turn fail in popularity.

In contrast, many people are greeting this change as a helpful way to alleviate mental health concerns. Some young people struggle with their photos not being as popular, in regards to number of likes. As a result, many families are relieved by this version of Instagram, as it may better some people’s mental health.

For now, Instagram is going to see how the test run goes in the U.S. This new change, however, is not permanent.