What if Instagram accomplished nothing by hiding like counts?

Recently, Instagram created a switch that allows users to hide like counts on their posts. Facebook made this change in order to address a major problem for more than a billion users’ mental health: social media anxiety.

While this is a clear step forward for responsible UX, the company also decided not to remove like counts from the overall app. Why? The press release stated that “people use like counts to get a sense for what’s trending or popular.”

With hiding likes as a choice, I wonder: did the change improve users’ mental health?

Let’s do a thought experiment.


Delicious and nutritious. PC Ananth Pai

Picture living in a one-bedroom studio in LA. It’s a hot summer day, and you’re going out to Venice Beach to bask in the sun and enjoy the waves.

If you had to pick an artist to blast on such an occasion, who would it be?

Consider Biskwiq. He’s an artist I recently discovered via Spotify’s Discover Weekly. As of June 2021, his top song has 29 million streams. I was genuinely shocked I’d never heard of him before.

As much as I love his music, this post is about the song that got me hooked to his discography. …

The story behind the COVID-19 Global Hackathon 2.0: Social & Mental Health

Organizing a hackathon is similar to being a chef: you can draw from many ingredients — participants, mentors, and sponsors—to create a plate. However, only experience can teach you which ingredients and techniques create a great dish.

Unfortunately, COVID has completely changed what it takes to organize a great hackathon, even if you have the benefit of past experience. The ingredients and equipment of in-person hackathons are out of stock: social connection doesn’t come naturally online, and the feeling of being part of something awesome is now harder to replicate.

We encountered these problems when we started planning the COVID-19…

Danny Friday

Software engineer. Personal site: https://dannibles.com

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