In July 2019, Instagram announced its intention to expand a feature already in place in Canada since April to six additional countries.Users of the photo-focused social network will no longer see the number of 'likes' beneath posts from accounts they follow. Full article available on Marianne

In Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand, only the content's author will have access to the post's success metrics. The irony is palpable: a platform that achieved its success by capitalizing on our egocentrism is now depriving itself of its main fuel. However, the well-intentioned motives stated by the Silicon Valley company are not the sole driving force behind this decision. Instagram's user base is evolving, and the social network is adapting to ensure it remains relevant and profitable.

Since the early stages of this experiment, Instagram has fervently insisted, like all its Big Tech siblings, that it is acting in the best interests of its users. Mia Garlick, Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Instagram in Australia and New Zealand, reiterated the mantra in an interview with the Australian channel ABC: 'We know that people come to Instagram to express themselves, be creative, and pursue their passions. We want to make sure it's not a competition.' She added, 'We want to see if this decision genuinely improves the user experience and reduces pressure on Instagram.'

This move responds to real concerns raised by the platform: in 2017, a study by the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK claimed that Instagram was 'the worst social media platform regarding its impact on the mental health of young people' aged 14 to 24. Last year, the Pew Research Center in the US found that 37% of teenagers felt the 'pressure' to post content that could garner fewer likes and comments than those of others. This year, the American Psychological Association also linked social media usage in general to an increase in youth suicides.

Full article available on Gens d'internet. First published in November 2022.