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Women Perceive Edited Selfies on Instagram as Less Authentic, says Study

The results showed that the more participants perceived that the photos were edited, the less they internalised the thin ideal

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Instagram
Instagram. Pixabay

Women may perceive selfies on Instagram and other social media sites as less authentic if they know it has been edited, a new study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Body Image, suggest that when women believed that selfies of thin and sexualised women had been edited, viewing these images had less negative impact on their mental health.

“Women see the edited photos as less authentic and it reduces the negative effect these images can have on them. They know that the online images might not reflect an offline reality,” said lead author Megan Vendemia from The Ohio State University in the US.

According to the researcher, many studies have found that viewing thin and sexualised images of models or others can lead women to put more value on being slender themselves — a line of thinking called thin ideal internalisation.

Instagram
Representational image. Pixabay

This internalisation can in turn lead to eating disorders or other psychological problems. But the findings suggested that women were less likely to internalise the thin ideal if they believed the pictures they viewed were edited.

For the study, the research team involved 360 female college students who were told that the study was designed to determine how people evaluate images that appear on popular social media sites.

Also Read- Regular Exercise Removes Toxic Proteins in Muscle Cells

The team viewed 45 selfies, taken from public Instagram accounts of thin women in revealing clothing. Some of the photos had icons, placed by the researchers, that indicated the image was edited in Photoshop or included an Instagram filter.

The results showed that the more participants perceived that the photos were edited, the less they internalised the thin ideal. (IANS)

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Instagram Plans to Hide ‘Like’ Counts for Posts

In March, micro-blogging site Twitter began testing a design that hides re-tweet counts behind an extra tap to similarly discourage inauthentic competition and herd mentality

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instagram, hide like counts
"Hiding 'Like' counts might get users posting more because they'll be less self-conscious," the report said. Pixabay

To channelise user-focus on sharing better and sensible content on its platform, Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is planning on hiding the ‘Like’ counts for posts on its app.

Spotted by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, the feature, currently in internal testing, would restrict visibility of the number of likes on the post only to the user concerned, TechCrunch reported on Friday.

The step could help reduce competition-related hate on the app and encourage creators to post what feels most authentic rather than trying to rack up Likes for everyone to see.

instagram hide like
“If Instagram rolls out the feature, it could put the emphasis back on sharing art and self-expression, not trying to win some popularity contest,” the report added. Pixabay

“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. Exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about,” the report quoted an Instagram spokesperson as saying, confirming the prototype feature.

According to Wong, the prototype feature still shows a few faces and names of other people who have liked a post, while hiding the numbers.

“Hiding ‘Like’ counts might get users posting more because they’ll be less self-conscious,” the report said.

instagram, hide like
According to Wong, the prototype feature still shows a few faces and names of other people who have liked a post, while hiding the numbers. Pixabay

In March, micro-blogging site Twitter began testing a design that hides re-tweet counts behind an extra tap to similarly discourage inauthentic competition and herd mentality.

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“If Instagram rolls out the feature, it could put the emphasis back on sharing art and self-expression, not trying to win some popularity contest,” the report added.

Other test Instagram features spotted by Wong include chat thread stickers for Direct Messages, Augmented Reality (AR) filters for Direct Video Calls, simultaneous co-watching of recommended videos through Direct, karaoke-style lyrics that appear synced to sound-tracks in Stories, emoji reactions to feed posts and a shopping bag for commerce. (IANS)