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Instagram’s ‘hidden likes’ feature could threaten music, media influencers

ATLANTA VOICE — Back in April, Instagram unveiled that they were “testing” a feature that would keep likes hidden from posts. Users of the photo-sharing app would allow them to view their total likes on individual postings without the stats being available to followers.

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By Emil Flemmon

Back in April, Instagram unveiled that they were “testing” a feature that would keep likes hidden from posts. Users of the photo-sharing app would allow them to view their total likes on individual postings without the stats being available to followers.

The company believes that the new feature would minimize cyberbullying, which has led to several self-harm incidents among youth. Suicide has emerged as the second leading cause of death for individuals ranging from ages 10-34, according to the Center.

Instagram’s update has been administered in seven countries, including Japan and Canada. The update has raised brows for media influencers, whose empires have been built of being well known and well-liked on social media.

But it seems that the new feature can also affect music artists as well. Because Instagram serves as a number one added platform for all fields of entertainment, the social media app also helps in determining the relevance of an artist.

Instagram provides infinite opportunities for the expansion of artists as it pertains to popularity, relevance and income. MusicWatch reported that 56 percent of IG users share liked posts from artists they support.

How the drawback will affect artists and business relationships remains to be unseen, for now. However, the Mike Krieger-created app’s mission is to take a stand in the prevention of online tyrannizing.

Atlantic recording artist YBN Cordae sat down with Billboard to express his disdain over the feature and how it threatens new artists who have gained additional success from Instagram.

“I wouldn’t (explicit) with that,” he said. “Let’s say you have a business that you curate, how can you (explicit) with advertisement companies?”

Many viral successful artists such as Lil Nas X, Blueface, and Bahd Babie are just a few of the names who capitalized off of viral elevation and then created music as a result of the catalyst. For some A&Rs of major labels, these internet sensations can turn into full-blown artists who can evade becoming one-hit wonders.

Derrick Aroh, who serves as an A&R for RCA Records, said he supports Instagram in the discovery of new artists. He believes it serves as not only a search engine for potential artists but also a development tool.

“The platform is very crucial in creating a narrative (and/or) conversation with the fans of the artists,” he said. “A hidden ‘likes’ feature could give labels less of an incentive to sign underdeveloped artists because once you eliminate that data, it becomes more difficult to direct fans to the most popular and relevant songs and videos they should be listening to.”

This article originally appeared in The Atlanta Voice.

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