The public nature of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ can often lead to people comparing themselves to others, having a detrimental effect on mental health. To combat the problematic nature of these features the numbers associated with them should be removed from the main feed. A user should be able to privately see how many ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ they have, but this information does not need to be public on personal accounts.
On Instagram, the quantity of followers is public, this can result in users comparing the number of followers they have in relation to others. This could be solved by removing these numbers on personal profiles, a user could see how many followers they had but anyone visiting their profile would be unaware, this would remove the ability to compare accounts and would reduce the negative effect that it has on mental health.
On Instagram ‘likes’ are symbolised through the use of a heart, the powerful and strong emotions that are symbolised through the shape deepen the urge to receive ‘likes’ from others. This problematic feature could be solved by providing the user with a range of symbols that can be used to interact with a post. The term ‘like’ could then be removed and replaced with ‘reaction’. A user would then get a variety of ‘reactions’ to their image instead of a number of ‘likes’.