Instagram is the second biggest social network, coming just after Facebook with 1 billion and 2.7 billion users respectively.
Some 60% of it’s users are between the ages of 18 and 24, and 90% are under 35.
So how will the demographic react to the new proposal of ‘hidden likes’?
Instagram announced on Tuesday that it would trial a new way to get users to concentrate more on content and less on engagement, by hiding the amount of likes their photos and videos generate.
Users will still be able to see their own total metrics, by tapping through on their posts, but their followers will not.
This has generated opinions for and against, many being from high profile names such as the ever controversial Piers Morgan.
One side of the debate suggests that the trial is a positive step forward for the younger generation and the link in the rise of mental health issues. Removing the visibility of ‘likes’ would remove the need of validation from others and teach young people that the opinion of other’s isn’t the most important part of society.
The other side suggests that this move is corporations ‘bowing down’ to society and that the move is part of the ‘snowflake’ generation not being able to handle rejection or healthy competition.
Personally, I deleted Instagram three years ago, at the age of 24. At the time, there was a couple of reasons for doing so.
- I found it to heighten any negative feeling about myself
- The pictures were not a real reflection of mine or anyone elses life
- I was spending so much time on it that my eyes were going square and my real-life conversations lacked authenticity
It is for these reasons that I believe hiding metrics on social media would be a positive step for my age group and younger, although as my opinion stands at the moment, it would not be a big enough factor to convince me to rejoin.
In addition, I asked members of our team if they would be happy to share their personal screen time for the purpose of this blog, to give an insight into how long they spend on the app.
The average age of these statistics is 35.