A new Instagram “like count ban” is currently being trialled in several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Ireland, and Brazil.
The move is designed to make people focus on what they’re uploading, rather than the likes their uploads receive. The move is in response to studies that found that photo-sharing apps can have negative effects on users’ self-esteem and mental health.
But there’s one group who are furious about this change: influencers.
Some of Instagram’s influencers, who make money from posting sponsored posts which receive thousands (and sometimes millions) of likes, worry that the move will affect their earnings.
Instagram influencer Mikaela Testa told news.com.au that removing the likes from public view is hurting her business.
I run my own business, it’s a subscription website where I share provocative and raunchy photos and it makes me easy money.
Instagram is what I use for advertising, I’ve only been doing it for five months, I’m very new to the job, but I’ve made $45,000 since I started.
After deactivating her account for 24 hours in protest, she posted some of her thoughts on her profile, writing:
I’ve put my blood, sweat, and tears into this for it to be ripped away, it’s not just me suffering too, it’s every brand and business I know.
Instagram isn’t even doing this for mental health they’re just doing it so they can control all engagement so more businesses run their adverts through Instagram essentially giving them more $, they don’t care about your feelings.
Another influencer, who chose to remain anonymous, said that she is having to work more since the ban was implemented.
I used to work six hours a day, but now I’m working eight hours a day because the ‘likes’ are going down.
Instagram has insisted that these changes won’t impact influencer earnings, because users can still see how many likes their own posts receive.