Check your Instagram - do you still see likes on your posts? Have they disappeared?
Instagram has officially begun testing out hiding likes from users, and have rolled it out in Canada.
Here’s how Instagram looks like with hidden likes:
“As you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts,” Zuckerberg explains. “You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see (the list), and if you have the time, you can add them all up yourself.”
The creator/user can still see how many likes they are getting on the posts, even if the followers can’t.
Right now, only selected users have access to hidden likes on Instagram, and it is unclear as to which users will be selected next. When selected, users will see a banner on the top of their home feed which indicates that they’ve been selected to participate in the testing phase.
How does this affect influencers and brands?
Of course, it is too early to say, but it seems like a positive move from Instagram. Case in point, Instagram Stories do not have any public metrics, but it has exploded in popularity ever since it was first introduced back in 2016.
Now that the “like count” is out of plain sight, the focus shifts automatically from the number of likes to the user’s content instead. Likes hidden away also is a good way to minimize the effect social media has on mental health. It serves as a reminder to check in with yourself, asking yourself how significant are the number of likes on a selfie you post.
One caveat of hiding likes would be that it would make it more difficult for brands to find and to collaborate with Instagram influencers. Brands tend to care more about reach and engagement rate than they do on the number of followers. Without the option of seeing influencer’s likes publicly, it will make it tougher for brands to define the quantitative elements when it comes to collaborating with influencers. It would evolve the brand-influencer-agency relationship, wherein a detailed influencer media kit would become essential, and where brands would ask for more qualitative and quantitative analysis of the influencers before and after working with them.
It'll be interesting to see the results from this test, and whether Instagram will make this an official update or discontinue it at the testing phase. What do you think will be the impact of Instagram hiding likes? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org