Instagram’s like-hiding update has been rolled out, and many young users are switching to business profiles to track audience engagement.
In recent months, Instagram began hiding likes on posts as a means of reducing competition among users. A study has revealed that it’s the young ones who are most vulnerable to the pressures of what they see on social media.
Because of this update, a large number of users have shifted to business accounts to access more comprehensive data that shows audience engagement.
Creating a business profile on Instagram requires users to provide information that are not necessary for creating personal IG accounts. This includes contact details which will be posted as part of your bio on your business profiles. Business profiles are public accounts by default and cannot be made private.
According to data scientist David Stier, about 2 million Instagram users between 12-15 years old have their contact information posted on their profiles.
This is data that shouldn’t be taken lightly because it poses a severe threat to the users’ privacy.
Stier came up with the numbers by analyzing more than 200,000 Instagram profiles of users from different countries. He revealed testing numerous sample groups using the same methodology and got similar results each time. Armed with these results, Stier came up with the conclusion that around 60 million underage users are unsuspectingly giving out their contact details to the public.
For the record, users below 13 years old are not allowed to sign-up for an account on Instagram, but of course, it’s a widely-disregarded condition.
According to Stier, he already reported the matter to Instagram and is waiting for them to do something about it.
The data scientist recommends masking emails and hiding contact information, but he also notes that this will affect legitimate business profiles.
Instagram could work on detecting and removing business profiles that are not actual businesses, but millions of users are all trying to find a way to track their audience engagement so they can maintain their Instagram credentials.
Given this, no solution is clear as of present. But it is upon Instagram’s social responsibility to act on the matter appropriately and immediately.