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This Huge Instagram Update Could Mean Less Need for Social Media Cleanses

Instagram is planning big changes based on its user’s mental health. The platform was originally built as a place of self- expression, and joy. However, more and more people have developed anxieties around Instagram over time. Therefore, CEO Adam Mosseri has set out to make Instagram the nicest place online. First, it’s important to note that Instagram’s instinctive infrastructure encourages certain behaviors and their algorithm controls every part of how we interact with the platform. Instagram understands that these factors have contributed to social comparisons and anxieties over time, especially with young people. For that reason, Adam Mosseri’s goal has become, “to put a 15-year-old kid’s interest before a public speaker’s interest.” He plans to do so by removing the public like counts in the U.S. to break those behaviors and make social media less of a competition. According to Adam, giving “people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them” will help IG become what it was all about to begin with. His thought process is, even though making likes private could hurt the business short term, taking care of their customers’ well-being and health will be good for business long term. Users will be able to see the likes they get, but the likes won’t be visible to their followers. In April, Instagram launched this test starting in Canada, then Japan, and Brazil–but up next is the U.S. where 106 million of us make up Instagram’s largest market. It may be every influencer’s worst nightmare, but for those who are tired of worrying about creating a picture-perfect feed, this may be great news! Some users are debating that these changes could bring more authentic content since users will stray away from allowing likes to dictate what they post. Others worry that the monetary and social currency of the platform will be gone as we know it. Regardless of the debate, as users, we’ve always accommodated to updates fairly quickly. Think about it, how long did it take you to get used to changing from an iPhone 8 to the iPhone X? Now for a more social media-specific example, who remembers the 2016 changes to Instagram feeds from chronologically to algorithm sorted? How about them changing their platform from scroll based to sliding through posts? How many of us stopped using Instagram after these huge modifications? We say that with over 1 billion users currently, it seems like we’ll all be along for Instagram’s ride. Instagram hopes that in that same light, as likes are removed, we’ll continue to use the platform. Perhaps it will mean less need for social media cleanses worldwide. As time passes and positive reactions towards the modification increase, they hope we grow to love the brands’ dedication to making Instagram a fun and healthy place to scroll, post, and discover!   Written by Raquel Beltran.
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