BURLINGAME (KPIX 5) — Like it or not, Instagram will start a slow roll out of removing likes for some users in the U.S. in an effort create a healthier environment for its users.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, says he wants to depressurize the competitive nature of the social media app.
“We don’t want Instagram to be such a competition. We want it be a place where people spend more of their energy connecting with the people that they love,” Mosseri told CBS This Morning’s Gayle King.
“I do feel pretty good when I get a lot of likes,” said Instagram user Lucca Del Chiaro of Burlingame. But when a photo doesn’t get too many likes, Del Chiaro said he doesn’t feel as good.
Studies have shown the negative impacts of social media on mental health. Symptoms of major depression have risen 63% among young adults, according to the American Psychological Association.
“I don’t think likes create a healthy sense of validation, so when they’re taken away, I feel like Instagram will definitely be a healthier place for everyone,” said 17-year-old Instagram user Zoe Spencer of Belmont.
Many social media influencers and celebrities, including rapper Nicki Minaj, are strongly opposed.
“I think it’s great for younger people, who are being bullied and all of that, but I don’t really think it needs to be for older people that have established accounts and are doing that as a source of income or likes, or are just trying to progress what they’re trying to do,” said Holly Proffitt of Burlingame.
Instagram is already testing out removing likes in seven other countries.