A few weeks ago, Instagram announced that it was going to start removing likes on certain accounts in attempts to “depressurize” the app. Some people (like Nicki Minaj) say they’ll stop posting to Instagram if likes go away, and Instagram users had mixed feelings.

“Honestly, I will post even more now. I tested this feature during my vacation in Brazil and not having this ‘like’ count as an instrument for validation was actually very refreshing.” – Samuel

“Instagram without likes is basically a shared Dropbox” – Allan

“I think it’s a good move keeping anxiety and other mental aspects that was associated with like counts.” – Akash

While the removal of likes may make the Instagram experience healthier for the average users, the influencer marketing industry, meme accounts, and small businesses — all of which rely on the “likes” engagement metric — could take a hit.

But what would the internet look like without “likes“ at all? We’re talking Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Last week, a browser extension called ‘Hide Likes Everywhere’ launched on Product Hunt to hide likes and “other vanity metrics” in order to help users focus more on authenticity (versus approval) online.

“By hiding others’ likes and followers, you can avoid comparing yourself to others and become a more independent thinker by using your own judgment rather than defaulting to what everyone else thinks. In the beginning, the absence of all those metrics may feel strange and inconvenient. You’ll notice just how much we’ve come to rely on them. But stick with it, and you’ll discover that you’re better off without them.“ -Maker DK the Human

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