Don’t define yourself by your number of likes

By Kayla Hunt, Columnist

How many of us have taken down a picture that we posted because we didn’t receive enough likes? How many have posted at a specific time when our followers are the most active in hopes that we do receive a certain amount of likes?  

Instagram has become a prominent app in the social media world, a platform that users utilize to communicate with others through pictures and videos. However, the initial purpose of Instagram may have become blurred through the years of development. 

Instagram has various features embedded in the app that allows for frequent interaction with users, such as likes, comments, direct messages, and its newest addition: story highlights. The app also allows you to manage your usage by monitoring how much time you spend on it every day and you can set a time limit to control your usage rates. 

This constant interaction has allowed people to build up their profiles and gain thousands of followers. The app has allowed users to promote their businesses and brands, which is how social media influencing began to emerge. Companies have rated Instagram as their top app to use for social media influencing/marketing because it is the most impactful.

In an interview with Forbes last year, Kevin Systrom, the creator of Instagram, stated that their goal is to change Instagram from an app where you can share photos of anything to a company that communicates through photos.

Also last year, Instagram tested taking away the feature of “likes” in seven different countries, which led to mixed reviews from users. Instagram’s response was that they want there to be more focused on the pictures and videos that are being posted and shared, not on the interaction (likes) of the media.

If Instagram does decide to permanently remove likes, it would definitely shift the atmosphere of the platform. The move could be beneficial in the end, because social media has affected the self-esteem of users through the metrics that are embedded in the app, such as likes and comments. However, would a heartless Instagram actually create a more embracing environment?

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