The social media conglomerate, Facebook Inc. is reportedly adding a “Hide Likes” option on its platforms which include Facebook and Instagram. The debate has been going on since years now that “likes” which is basically the backbone of social media should be excluded because it is having a bad psychological effect on users more than it is benefitting them.
According to recent reports by USA Today, Facebook and Instagram might not completely get rid of this prominent feature which is displayed as a heart-button on Instagram, instead it will let its users decide on whether they want to enable the feature or not. For instance, users on Instagram have the option of disabling comments for each and every individual post according to their will and a similar feature is in planning to roll out later this year for “Likes”.
Facebook Inc. mentions in a statement that the company is testing a new feature which will let users decide the experience which is best for them.
Well, reading this recent update, there must be many users out there who would be relieved because of all the stress, anxiety and pressure they go through before posting anything on social media. While, there must be another set of users, especially influencers and business-oriented users whose only form of validity on their products or personal brand is to count the number of likes and comments on their post.
Having said that, giving users control over their Likes and Comments is a part of the broader effort that the social media conglomerate is putting to reduce “social comparison”, “anxiety” and “mental health issues”, as mentioned in a report by USA Today.
In this present day and age where people are much aware about issues like mental health, anxiety, societal pressure, social isolation issues, self esteem issues among several other things, social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook cannot hide from the fact that their platforms are a trigger for many people battling these issues.
Hiding a feature as conventional as “Likes” is a major step but in a positive direction. Moreover, the company’s decision to let users control the likes and suit themselves with the experience that they wish to have is the responsible way of handling the situation and analysts are in much appraisal for the decision.
As mentioned by USA Today, several users have openly admitted that seeing the likes on one’s photo can trigger a confidence boost and also a feel of inadequacy in the society and all of these emotions are triggered by Likes.