Instagram Removing Like Count: Here's What These Influencers Have To Say
It's officially happening.
Last week Instagram announced it will be rolling out a test within the next few weeks and will be hiding like count from followers in certain test markets across the world.
The new design will be trialed in Canada before potentially being rolled out to users across the globe.
While users will still be able to see how many likes their content racks up on the photo- and video-sharing platform, the number will be hidden from their audience. (Guess this means our days of creeping the number of likes on our ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend's posts are numbered.)
“Later this week, we’re running a test in Canada that removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profile,” an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch.
“We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
But is this a good thing or a bad thing? How will users react? And what do content creators think?
We asked four Instagram influencers to share their thoughts on the hiding of Insta-likes on the platform. Check it out below and let us know your thoughts on Instagram hiding like counts in the comments below.
“Instagram would be a healthier platform for individuals, as we wouldn't be as self-absorbed or obsessed with the number of likes our posts rack up.” - Naomi D'Souza, Food Blogger and Influencer.
Dubai-based food blogger Naomi D’Souza shares her thoughts on the hiding of the like count from followers.
“From my personal experience as a blogger . . . comments aren’t really given by the audience. We live in a fast-paced world and the quickest way to interact is via a like – myself included,” she said. “Likes not only validated the posts to myself and to the public but to brands as well.”
But if the test is a go and a new Instagram design is rolled out worldwide – sans viewable like count – D’Souza does think it could be a positive thing.
“I do see Instagram being a healthier platform for individuals, as we won’t be self-absorbed or obsessed with the number of likes our posts rack up,” she said.
"People would post more because then you wouldn't have to worry about how many likes each picture gets.” - DJ Bliss, DJ and Content Creator.
Emirati DJ, Emcee and content creator DJ Bliss agreed with D'Souza.
“I think people would post more, because then you wouldn't have to worry about how many likes each picture gets,” DJ Bliss said. “Personally, I think about whether I should post more than one picture a day.”
The Dubai-based DJ said he consciously spaces out how often he posts within his Instagram feed.
His current strategy ensures his content rack up the maximum number of likes, but that could all change if a new Instagram design is rolled out in the future. Without the like count hidden from his audience, he wouldn’t need to worry about “spacing” out his content to his audience.
“I have three good pictures, I’ll just post three good pictures today,” he said.
“I think it would allow people with a smaller audience to excel on Instagram.” - Peter Barron, Fitness Coach and Influencer.
Fitness trainer, coach and influencer Peter Barron thinks hiding the like count from other users could help smaller creators succeed on a platform that is already oversaturated with content.
“I think it would allow people with [a smaller following] to excel,” Barron said. “For example, if you look at the explore page, people will like something based off how many likes it has already.”
He points out the average user is more inclined to like a post if it has thousands of likes as opposed to ten.
“Your brain thinks it must be good content because one hundred thousand people liked it, but that might not necessarily be the case,” he said. “Whereas if I go on to the explore page and I see a video or an image with 10 likes, I would probably just scroll past it, assuming that the content wasn’t good.”
When it comes to viewing the like count on other creators’ content, do influencers think it impacts their mental health?
“No, it doesn’t,” D’Souza said.
She points out all content creators have worked to develop their own niche. She makes it clear that racking up the number of likes isn’t a competition - unless it perhaps involves multiple creators working on the same brand campaign or doing a giveaway. But even then, she is quick to point out it doesn’t alter her mood.
“Sometimes the likes do however validate how good a post is, as an external onlooker,” she said. “But it doesn’t affect my mood or mental health.”
But what about the general Instagram community? Would hiding the like count on other users posts be a good thing in the long term?
“Instagram is a platform where you share memories and pictures. It’s really not about likes." - S1, Grammy Academy Singer-Songwriter and Podcast Host.
“Instagram is a platform where you share memories and pictures. It’s really not about likes,” Grammy Academy singer-songwriter and podcast host S1 said.
“It’s about you creating your own visual artistic portfolio where people can come and see your content.”
“Forget about influencers, to the general public this is a much more positive thing than negative,” he said.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.