Nov 9, 2019

Instagram CEO plans to test hiding "likes" in app next week

Instagram and Threads. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said the social media company plans to test hiding "likes" within the app for some U.S. users starting next week, Wired reports.

What he's saying: Mosseri made the announcement Friday at WIRED25 while discussing "why it’s important for social media platforms to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of the people who frequent them," per Wired.

  • Mosseri has described previous "like"-less tests as an effort to create a “less pressurized environment."

The big picture: Facebook tested a similar feature in Australia, and Twitter has played with concealing likes and retweets in a limited prototype version of its new mobile app "twttr." Instagram has already tested camouflaging its likes in Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy and Australia.

  • Snapchat's Evan Spiegel criticized the "likes" system on social media for spurring fake news in a 2017 Axios op-ed.
  • Concerns over the negative impact of broad social media use have increased in recent years with rising reports of teen suicide, depression and cyberbullying.

Go deeper: New fake-news worry for Instagram

Go deeper

Tech companies target your sanity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several of the biggest social media platforms are beginning to test changes that cut down on scorekeeping, discourage harassment and aim to improve users' well-being.

Why it matters: The unwinding of features such as public "like" counts could have a major impact on the multi-billion dollar businesses of social media companies, as well as the millions of brands and creators that rely on those features to fuel their own businesses.

Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019

Small social networks are having a moment

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Small is the new big when it comes to social networking, with a number of startups and established players seeking to cater to people that want to share photos, messages and other information — but only with a tight-knit group of friends or family.

Driving the news: Monday marked the official launch of Cocoon, an app from two former Facebook employees. It aims to create a new sort of sharing experience for close family and friends.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019

Report: TikTok weighs direct shopping for users

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

TikTok may add a direct shopping tool for users as it secures big advertisers like Walmart, Nike and Asos, the Financial Times reports.

The big picture: Blake Chandlee, vice president of global business solutions for TikTok, told FT that the app's current growth stage is "very similar" to when he joined Facebook in 2007.

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019