Instagram shocked its users on Thursday by controversially hiding the number of ‘likes’ each post receives.
Reacting to the move on The Project, Waleed Aly was seen mocking the frustration of reality stars and influencers left outraged by the controversial decision.
The presenter, 40, joked Instagram users ‘better start crying uncontrollably,’ as he argued that removing ‘likes’ hasn’t actually changed the social media platform at all.
Introducing a segment on Instagram’s ban, Waleed told viewers watching on Thursday night: ‘If you were on Instagram at all today you might have noticed a lot of posts no longer have any likes.’
‘It’s not a mistake and you can’t undo it… so you better start crying uncontrollably,’ he teased.
It was then revealed that Instagram first removed its ‘likes’ totals for Canadian users as a trial and is now rolling out the change in six other countries.
‘You better start crying’: The Project’s Waleed Aly was seen mocking the upset over Instagram getting rid of its ‘likes’ on Thursday and claimed the social media app ‘hasn’t changed’
Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Japan, Italy and Brazil will all be impacted, as it’s claimed Instagram is trying to ‘move away from a competitive environment’.
While you can’t see the number of likes another post has generated, you can still see your own total number of likes on posts you’ve uploaded.
Rachel Corbett argued that people will instead resort to showing off their likes by taking ‘screengrabs’ of their private total, prompting Waleed to argue ‘nothing has actually changed’.
Not happy: Reality stars and influencers are unimpressed with the move – model Tammy Hembrow, who boasts 10 million followers, vowed to delete her Instagram account in protest
‘Originally I heard it and I was all on board with it, I thought, “This is fantastic,” but the more that you look into it, there’s less than meets the eye here,’ he said.
‘You can still see your likes. So that classic thing, of girls in high school or whatever taking photos and not going out until they’ve got a certain number of likes in that outfit – that can still happen.
‘The scoreboard is still there for you, the fact that somebody else can’t see it doesn’t necessarily change that psychologically.’
‘The scoreboard is still there for you’: The presenter argued that because you can still personally see your likes, the psychological impacts Instagram can have stay the same
The decision to get rid of the number of likes has caused concern among Instagram influencers and sparked fears it could destroy their careers.
As influencers depend on likes to prove their engagement with followers, it’s likely that many will struggle to secure brand sponsorships going forward.
While they can send private analytics to advertisers, companies will be unable to independently verify these figures because the ‘like count’ is no longer visible.
‘It’s a great thing!’ Rebecca Judd has backed Instagram’s decision to remove its ‘likes’ and believes the shock move will benefit the younger generation and their mental health
Model Tammy Hembrow, who boasts 10 million followers, vowed to delete her Instagram account in protest when news of Instagram’s plans first surfaced in June.
Although, some influencers are backing the move and Rebecca Judd told Daily Telegraph she backs the move and the benefit it will have on mental health.
The AFL WAG, 36, believes not being able to see the number of likes a post generates will benefit the younger generation and their mental health.
‘It can be troubling’: The AFL WAG, 36, told Daily Telegraph she thinks Instagram likes can negatively impact adolescents and insists ‘likes’ aren’t important
Causing a stir: The controversial move has caused concerns for influencers like Rebecca who rely on Instagram likes to win sponsorship deals and endorsements
Rebecca said: ‘I don’t put any self-worth on how many likes I get, but I can see that [for] the younger generations, especially adolescents, how that could be troubling.’
She has a huge following of 832k and has partnered with brands to promote them on social media, but insists she isn’t fazed by the potential setbacks that could occur due to Instagram concealing likes.
MAFS star Jessika Power took the same stand point and told Daily Mail Australia: ‘It won’t affect my work in any way. The likes are more like a drug to some people.
‘It’s that feeling of love and acceptance, but I couldn’t give two hoots if I’m honest.’
Supporting the change: MAFS star Jessika Power took the same stand point as Rebecca and told Daily Mail Australia: ‘It won’t affect my work… the likes are like a drug to some people’