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Influencer Kicks Off Over Instagram's Hidden Likes

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Instagram Introduces A New Feature That Gets Rid Of Likes

More and more people are turning to platforms like Instagram and YouTube to earn their money. When your job is based in social media, ever like, comment and share counts. It’s a simple fact that the more ‘likes’ you get, the more attractive you become to brands. However, thanks to a new feature introduced by Instagram, this is all about to change. The social media giant started trialing a feature that would hide the number of likes on an individual’s page. Instagram has reported that this change is their response to the backlash on the damaging effect social media has on mental health.

In a statement by Mia Garlick, Facebook’s Australia and New Zealand director of Policy said: “we hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive and focus on sharing the things you love”.

So far, the feature has only been implemented in New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Ireland and Japan. As expected, there has been a lot of online backlash and one person in particular was extremely unhappy with this change. 19-year-old Melbourne-based Instagram influencer Mikaela Testa (@Mikaelatesta) deactivated her account for 24 hours in protest. She then took to Facebook to further protest how unfair the change is and that this feature would ruin her prospects when it came to brand collaborations.

The Backlash From Mikaela Testa

She wrote: “If you think this is okay you can f**k off, it’s actually a sad day for those who have Instagram as a job. Regardless of what you think instagram is a REAL job and those in the industry have worked hard to get where they’re at. It’s people who aren’t even in the industry who think it’s a f**king joke. It’s not, it’s real damage out here”.

“I’ve out my blood swear and tears into this for it to be ripped away, it’s not just me suffering too, it’s every brand and business I know. Instagram isn’t even doing this for mental health, they’re just doing it so they can control all engagement so more businesses run their adverts through Instagram essentially giving them more $, they don’t care about your feelings”.

This all hit its peak when Mikaela, distressed, shared a video of herself crying, in this clip she stated that she planned to take a break from Instagram for a long period of time.

“I’m just trying to stay calm so I can get these words out properly cause they’re not coming out. I just think I’m going to have a really big break from social media for a while because I know mentally for her Instagram is a problem and I can’t even accept that so I’m going to leave maybe for a couple of weeks, so I can get back on track because right now I am just scaring myself, I don’t know what’s going on inside my head,” she said.

How Getting Rid Of Likes Could Sabotage An Influencers Main Source of Income

Mikela claims she makes a whopping $12,895 a month through her 43,000 followers. She told news.com.au that removing likes has greatly affected her business, as this was her main source of advertising.

She goes on to explain that she runs her own business by sharing ‘raunchy’ photos of herself. She runs a subscription based site and says that this has made her easy money. Though only doing this for 5 months, she claims she has earned $45,000 since starting.

Instagram has insisted that this test won’t affect tools for business and that you are still able to see who has liked people’s posts by simply clicking on them.

Following her ‘Instagram detox’ Mikaela uploaded a picture of the beach with the caption, “feel like pure shit, just want my likes back x”.

As expected she got a lot of negative backlash, with one commenter writing, “There are bigger problems happening in the word right now”, and another saying “Get a real job babe x”.

She has now set her Facebook account to private and is claiming that the video of her crying has nothing to do with the ban, but is everything to do with the nasty comments and backlash she received.

Whilst Mikaela’s reaction may have been extreme, she is certainly not the only person upset by this change.

So what do you think? If you want to know more about changes on Instagram check out our blog.