May 25, 2020

What will happen when Facebook and Instagram eliminate likes? – The province

FacebookandInstagramtests have officially begun to eliminatethe number of likes of the publications, the number of views of the videos and any other data thatshow publiclythe success or failure that other 'posts' are having, although this one doesyou can see the impact in privateThey have their own publications on both platforms.

Facebook announced in its developer conference held in July that it would incorporate a new system to its social networks Facebook and Instagram whereby users could not see the likes of other people, although their own, with the main objective of that the users aremore concerned with sharing what interests themthan to do it just to get more 'likes'.

In the case of Facebook, this measure began its tests in Australia on September 27. "We are testing a limited test where 'likes', reactions and number of video views are made private," said a Facebook spokesman to The New York Times, who stressed that they were carrying out this test phase to have a 'feedback' "to understand if this change will improve people's experience".

In the case of Instagram, this new function began to be tested last July in seven countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and Italy), a fact that made the social network itself known through a thread of tweets in your official account.

The concern on the part of the company, the experts and the users themselves isthe type of repercussions that this measure can have, especially in the youngest, which are the ones that make the most of Instagram. "You have to take into account the impact that it can have on a young population. Instagram is not the social network with more users, but it is the one that grows the most and the favorite of teenagers," says the Professor of Science Studies of Information and Communication of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC),Ferrán Laluezain a statement from the University.

In fact, Instagram was classified in 2017 in a study by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) called #StatusOfMind, asthe social network worst valued for being the one that most negatively affects the mental health and well-being of young people. It is followed by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Less social pressure

According to a study conducted by the UOC, in which they participated, this measure will reduce the social pressure in young people to whom the feeling of being valued continuously by other users leads them to have a constant concern for their own image, for having to be continuously connected to not miss anything, and even to expose yourself toharassment, anxiety and trouble falling asleep.

"The logic of beingpermanently validated and approved by othersit is a very important variable for adolescents, although it is not the only one, "says the psychologist and professor of the Studies of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the UOC, José Ramón Ubieto.

"The screens have increased narcissism, by putting the 'I' first: our image becomes the main emblem and this can have negative side effects: exhibitionism, transformation of privacy and privacy, cyberbullying, threats, etc. ", explains Ubieto. Thus, ensures that this new measure" reduces the hypertrophy of ' I ', this narcissistic phenomenon in which one tends to look for' likes' and make everyone know that they have them and can also reduce the anguish of having them. "

An idea reinforced by the UOC Professor of Information and Communication Sciences Studies,Mireia Mountain, which ensures thatyoung people "are very sensitive to acceptance and rejection in social networks", as a study of 'Nature', which indicates that precisely this sensitivity" can make it specifically reactive to the media that arouses emotions ".

On the other hand, Lalueza believes that the company also has another intention with this measure, which is that ofdo not discourage users who have few followers or 'likes', which "are the majority", to prevent them from becoming a passive user. "If the majority become passive users, simple viewers from whom valuable information cannot be extracted, a lot of data is lost, which is precisely what these platforms want to treasure and market," he says.

As for the users that live from the likes, like theinfluencers'he believes that they will lose influence "but not because the networks want to end the likes," says Lalueza. "They are losing credibility because they are no longer considered independent because of theirgrowing dependence on brands"he points out.


On the other hand, the sociologist expert in NeurolinguisticsAlicia Aradillaaffirms in a statement that this new measure "can be a point and point apart in current relationships." Having, thus, repercussions at the physiological, economic and sociological level.

At the physiological level,the addictive part of the application is removed. Aradilla explains that the 'likes', notices of notifications and even the melodies to warn that you have received a 'whatsapp', 'like' or comment, suppose small downloads of dopamine, the so-called happiness hormone. This, coupled with the fact that all social networks are designed to be addictive, creates a habit in the user of continued use, in favor of all social networks.

Ensures that if the 'like' display is removed, this habit "will decrease substantially." Thus, "to eliminate the 'like' is to risk eliminating the social network", adds Aradilla.

On an economic level, the 'influencer'Lara Martín GilarranzHe believes that "the elimination of 'likes' can be good, it will help the selection of accounts with brands." It states that the interaction withn the community of followers is more importantand points out that, for her "I like it" in my publications are not everything ". In addition, he points out that the statistical data "will always be visible to you and available to the brand when you ask for them, just as we now pass statistics we can also pass to how many people have liked," he concludes.

Finally, at the sociological level, this measure "may affect many aspects that may come together in the act of publishing vital moments" in citizens, as Aradilla points out. The so-called gluttony could be developed with the technology in the form of 'scroll' "the content is infinite, it never ends. It would be similar to the pleasure of eating by gluttony, without hunger and without being able to stop doing it," the sociologist details.

On the other hand, it would provokea decrease in the feeling of adherence to the group. "For example, if you give me a 'like', part of the appeal is that the whole community can know about that gesture, if only I know when I see my statistics, the motivation goes down, because again the social projection disappears, it is say, let others know it too), "he says.

"Without feeling of adhesion to the group, they will stop being interested in the lives of others, so it is possible that we focus more on ours, this can have a healthy impact on us," says Aradilla. According to some studies, currently the average daily telephone service is 5.18 hours a day looking at it a hundred times a day.

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