Instagram Disables “Like” Button Indefinitely

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As Facebook, Twitter and Google struggle to keep up with the proliferation of mobile and other online distractions, Instagram’s new “like” system may offer a unique opportunity to avoid that sort of distraction.

In the aftermath of the iPhone’s debut, and much to the chagrin of its loyalists, Facebook’s most prominent photo-editing plug has been turned off temporarily while the company focuses on security.

As of Tuesday morning, “Like” on the image editor tool has been disabled for everyone. The reason for the temporary block is that Instagram hasn’t yet implemented an automatic system for removing posts with a “Like” badge after a certain number of likes — a prerequisite for the feature to be turned on.

As of this morning, if you liked an image via the original upload button, the feature was disabled and you’ll still have to manually block posts with a “Like” badge. This means that, if you have an Instagram account which is currently following someone, they’ll still be able to see everything posted to their Instagram account.

As an alternative, you can also leave a comment after using an image in a post, or you can simply click “reply” on Instagram to add a reply from any other account.

As with all of the new features coming to Instagram, I was hoping for an automatic like button. Like a “Like” on Facebook, Instagram has long required that users check “like” badges on their favorite photos, as the button does something similar, but it’s always been limited to photos belonging to a specific member of the social network. Facebook’s automatic tagging feature makes it so that all photos that are tagged with one of the company’s accounts show the like icon — and if you click on the icon, you can add a comment.

What Instagram means for its users will be interesting to watch. There’s no word on how the platform will handle the influx of new users, so it’s too early for any concrete conclusions. Either way, the “Like” button is apparently a thing of the past now, but at least we have a feature which isn’t so much an “instant image post” for Instagram but an automated tool that works by “like” — something that can be seen here, though we’ve only had “Like” on an image for a few hours.

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