Instagram Is Now Hiding Likes – What Does This Mean?
Regardless of whether you’re an active Instagram user or not, you’ve probably heard that Instagram will start hiding likes on its platform. The first speculation about this began in April 2019 and was reintroduced just this past week. So, what took so long, and why is Instagram doing this? According to Later, this movement started in Canada in May 2019, shortly after the April 2019 announcement. Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand followed shortly after, and soon enough, the United States will be part of this list.
So, why is Instagram doing this? The answer is easy. An Instagram spokesperson explains, “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.” With various studies focused on the societal pressures now experienced by teenagers, much of this added pressure appears to stem from social media usage and the all-too-easy act of comparing oneself to others on these platforms – and “like count” in particular is largely to blame. Many individuals will go so far as to delete a post if it hasn’t received an adequate amount of likes, or will only post content during prime “liking” hours.
This not only diminishes the intention of Instagram – to simply share pictures and videos with your followers and friends – but also negatively impacts users’ mental health. Instagrammers focus more on what content will land them the most likes to “rise” above their peers and competition, rather than posting authentic, genuine content.
With so much talk about this topic over the past couple of days, we brought it to Instagram to ask our followers what questions they have. Here are the top questions we received!
Why is Instagram hiding likes?
To put it short: mental health. Instagram has become an easy way to compare ourselves to others based on a single image. This affects confidence levels and has been reported to increase levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. By hiding the like counts, Instagram is hoping to make the app more inclusive and less focused on popularity.
Will I be able to see how many likes I get on an image?
Yes! You will still be able to view how many likes your own post receives, but your followers will not. Your followers with simply see “liked by @_____ and others.” Now, it is important to note that if someone clicks “and others,” they will be shown a list of everyone who liked the photo. Technically, they could count every profile that has liked the image to know the total count.
How will this affect influencers?
While likes definitely matter to influencers, the like count is not the only analytic that brands take into consideration when partnering with an influencer. Although third-party apps report that likes have been growing in popularity, many likes are actually from bot accounts – not real users. This diminishes the value of Instagram likes and encourages a focus on other measures of engagement, such as comments and impressions.
Will likes be hidden on both personal and business accounts?
Yes! No matter the type of account, likes will be hidden.
How are you and your brand feeling about this change? Let us know in the comments below.
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