Instagram is making drastic moves to improve the mental health of its users. Earlier this year, the app announced its plans to test a new feature that hides the number of likes on posts, which sparked controversy among those who profit from these statistics. But one of the platform's biggest influencers, Kim Kardashian, is on board and sees the benefit of the feature, even if it impacts her business.
This week at The New York Times’ DealBrook Conference in New York City, the 38-year-old mogul spoke about the negative effects of Instagram on mental health. “As far as mental health… I think taking the likes away and taking that aspect away from [Instagram] would be really beneficial for people,” she said.
Boasting a whopping 151 million followers, Kim utilizes Instagram to share sponsored content with her audience, as well as promote her own brands. Still, she knows how damaging the platform can be in terms of mental health. In a recent interview, she opened up about how seeing photos online affects her self-esteem.
“I find myself to be extremely mentally strong and I have people who are obsessed with the comments, and I find that to be really unhealthy,” she explained at the conference. “I struggle with having to step outside of how I feel and thinking about, ‘What if one of my children was like one of my friends who wasn’t as mentally strong and would really be affected by the comments?'”
Motherhood has also impacted Kim's view of social media. "It is tricky and when I raise my kids, I think about screen time, phone time, what to post, what not to post,” she says of her four children with Kanye West, including North, 6, Saint, 3, Chicago, 2, and five-month-old Psalm.
Instagram is still only in the test phase of this potential new feature, and even if it becomes widely implemented, won't eliminate likes completely. Users will still see number of likes on their own posts, but not on other posts in their feed. While influencers have mixed feelings about the change, Instagram has made it clear that users' well-being is important to them. Recently, the platform has cracked down on harmful diet spon-con, as well as promised to remove all filters that promote plastic surgery.
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