Last week, a lot of reactions trailed the announcement by the CEO of Instagram Adam Moser that the social media platform would be making likes on posts invisible to the public. The feature has been tested by Instagram in some countries and areas in the past. They intend to commence it in the US very soon. This does not mean an end to likes in any way; as users will be able to view the numbers of likes that their posts. The only thing is that their followers will not be able to see it.
As expected, the news of the changes by Instagram elicited a lot of divergent reactions from different people. Some were happy with it while others – like Niki-Minaj – were very critical of the move. In fact, Niki-Minaj went as far as stating that she was not going to use the platform any more. And she made sure she never used the platform for the announcement – she used Twitter. “I’m not posting on IG after this week cuz they removing the likes. what should I get into now? Think of all the time I’ll have with my new life.”
Nicki Minaj’s major problem with the new policy is that it is not good for artists especially as it has to do with their independence. We are in an age where a lot of independent artists have emerged simply by leveraging the power that high social media ratings and acceptability offers.
” They will replace that too. You’ll see. This isn’t about how smaller companies will cope. It’s about WHY the bigger company is doing it. This is why musicians make no money. The labels & streaming services knew what to say to pacify us. They continue to make the REAL MONEY. ” she tweeted.
She also added that “We are so easily pacified. Harriet would never. Y’all smoking d*ck if y’all think labels ain’t pissed about the level of power independent artists now have by way of IG. They all work TOGETHER. Unlike us… settling for crumbs.”
Cardi B rose to fame largely by making use of the power that social media gives independent artists. It offers them the opportunity to bypass the traditional gatekeepers and exploitative record labels and promoters. Cardi B is in the habit of broadcasting her opinions on Instagram. She reacted to the news by sharing her candid thoughts on the issue. She was of the opinion that removing the comment feature or the ability to like comments is preferable to disable the ability of followers to view like counts.
The “I like it like that” star posted a video on her Instagram page explaining her views. The caption read: “This is just my opinion. She went on to explain that comments have more effects than mere likes. “I mean, what makes you feel more insecure: getting no likes or people constantly giving opinions about you, your life, and topics?”
The initiative has already been effected in seven countries in the world before Instagram announced that the USA was the next point of call. Countries like Brazil, Canada and Japan have been using Instagram with the like count feature disabled.
The aim as explained by Mosser is to reduce the pressure and unhealthy competition for popularity and acceptability. He said Instagram is trying to lay more emphasis on people connecting with each other and the new initiative will create the enabling condition needed for that. “The idea is about young people. The idea is to try to de-pressurize Instagram — make it less of a competition, give people more space to connect with people they love, things that inspire them. But it’s really focused on young people.” He explained.