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SWFL businesses react to Instagram testing program to hide 'likes'

Posted at 7:57 PM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 19:57:22-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Changes could be coming to your Instagram this week. The social media app will be testing a new program to hide “likes” on your Instagram feed.

The CEO of Instagram Adam Mosseri tweeted Friday that instagram will be making likes private for a small portion of people in the U.S.Fox 4 got some feedback from some people in Southwest Florida who use instagram for business or personal use to see how they feel about the potential change.

“Usually when we have a response to a post that’s how we gage how busy the release or event will be,” said Jordan Weisberg, Head Brewer, Point Ybel Brewing Company.

Weisberg says the brewery uses Instagram as a tool to promote events, merchandise and beer releases.

He's more concerned about engagement through comments not the amount of likes they get per post, “when you get interaction through comments, that’s when you really know if people are paying attention, I’m not sure how that will change.”

“To be honest I really don’t think the likes will impact business all that much," Adam Horsley, Chef and Marketing Associate, Poke Fusion.

Horsley also says interaction through comments is more important than likes, “how many comments we get, and look at the number of followers, and see how our follower base grows over time, so that’s important to us.”

People will still be able to see who likes their posts that information just won’t be shared with followers. “I definitely still catch myself still caring about it, and I’m like why,” said Maria Molo, FGCU student.

Fox 4 sat down with a counseling professor from Florida Gulf Coast University to find out ‘why’ people are concerned about the amount of likes they receive.

“It gives people a false sense of connecting, so they more likes, the more they may think they are connecting with others,” said Dr. Yaro Garcia, Florida Gulf Coast University Counseling Department.

“I always post at 8pm because I feel like that’s when I get the most likes,” said Kristina Timberman, FGCU student.

Instagram says they are testing this to ease stress some users feel to get “likes.”

“It may help them transition into seeking more personal interaction and learning about themselves in a different way than worrying about these likes,” said Dr. Garcia.

Instagram has tested this in seven countries and the feedback has been pretty positive.