Despite having more than 157 million Instagram followers and the platform being crucial to making some of her $350 million personal net worth, Kim Kardashian West seems to agree with Instagram's decision to hide 'likes'; it would be good for the mental health of its users, she says.
Speaking at The New York Times DealBook event on Nov. 6, Kardashian West said, "As far as mental health, I mean it's something that taking [Instagram] 'likes' away and taking that aspect away from it would be really beneficial for people."
Kardashian West added that Instagram executives have reached out to her to get her thoughts on the matter and it makes her "happy" to see them taking action.
Kardashian West's comments came several days before Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced on Nov. 8 that the company will begin hiding 'likes' for some users in the United States. Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in 2012, has already started testing hidden "likes" among users in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
The plan, Mosseri said, is to only make "likes" visible to the individual who makes a post, not their followers.
"The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition," Mosseri said at the Wired25 conference in San Francisco on Nov. 8. However, he didn't elaborate say how many users will be part of the experiment or how the accounts will be chosen. Instagram said it plans to start implementing the tests this week.
Some say the move could impact social media "influencers" who use Instagram to promote and sell sponsored products to their followers, with their credibility and deals often based in part on "likes."
However, in July, Guy Avigdor, co-founder and chief operating officer of influencer marketing company Klear told the Associated Press that many marketers are now moving toward sponsored Story posts on Instagram instead of traditional posts as a way to "measure influencer impact and reduce reliance on likes."
Ryan Hilton, a 27-year-old who works in social media and was part of the Canadian hidden "likes" test, said influencers are now using live Instagram videos to build their following because "likes" are still visible on that feature.
On Saturday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey praised Mosseri's move and retweeted the announcement saying, "Great step."
While Twitter hasn't made any plans to kill off its like or retweet buttons, Dorsey has previously questioned whether having a heart-shaped "like" button is the "right thing to do." YouYube and Facebook are also experimenting with removing certain engagement metrics from their platforms.
Kardashian West said she completely changed when and what she posts on social media after she was robbed at gunpoint in Paris, France in 2017.
"I learned from a bad experience that I had when I was robbed that people really knew my every move, they knew what I had, they knew where I was, what I was doing, and that to me really changed maybe the things that I post," she said at Dealbook.
The mother-of-four said she now posts videos and pictures at least 30 minutes after she leaves a location to ensure her privacy and safety.
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