“Instagram users in the United States might wake up to their Instagram feed looking different in the coming weeks.” – Tech Crunch
This year, Canada was one of the first countries to see Instagram hide likes on posts. The move was part of a pilot project intended to encourage users to pay attention to more important aspects of the app.
Since the testing initiative just went worldwide, here are some insights from what we can see so far.
You Can Still See Likes
For personal accounts and business profiles, you can still see likes and other important metrics.
“It’s important to note that likes will not be disappearing altogether – rather, they will just be hidden to followers, but users will still be able to view how many likes they’ve received on a post with just a couple taps.” – Later.com
At the moment, likes are only hidden on the Instagram app. Creators and followers, if they want, can still view the number of likes publically available on any desktop version of Instagram.
More Diverse Content
Without the vanity metric of ‘likes’, users can focus on more diverse, quality content.
“The decision to take away such a crude quantifier of popularity is, according to Instagram’s Twitter account, so that users can ‘focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.’” – Esquire
Hopefully, users will be bolder and try more creative content. They will also be far less likely to delete content if it doesn’t receive enough likes right away. At the end of the day, this change could lead to a more authentic experience for all!
It Could Be A Damper On ‘Fake’ Influencers & Bots
We’ve covered the topic of fake influencers many times.
The research found that “A single day’s worth of posts tagged #sponsored or #ad on Instagram contained over 50 percent fake engagements, according to data from anti-fraud company Sway Ops. Out of 118,007 comments, only 20,942 were not made by bot followers.” – Digiday
“Likes” were one of the only metrics that you could easily fake on Instagram. Before a wide crackdown, users could pay 3rd party sites to artificially boost their number of followers and likes. If likes become irrelevant, then these fake engagements are also rendered useless.
Influencers will likely have to figure out a way to provide brands with deeper value through things such as awareness. With this change, brands will also have to question the validity of influencers they choose to work with.
All in all, both influencers and brands will be encouraged to spend time building better, more trusting relationships!
There Is Less Comparison
Comparison of social media is one of the leading causes of dissatisfaction and low self-esteem among its users. Without visible likes, users will be less likely to compare their images to others.
For our clients, the inability to view ‘likes’ will inevitably encourage everyone to step up their game. Rather than feed into shallow metrics of popularity, creators can focus on what matters most – inspiring their online community!
“Instagram claims it is introducing this feature to make users more comfortable genuinely liking content without being judged by the herd.” – HighSnobiety
There is, of course, those who are skeptical about Instagram’s true intentions. However, At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re choosing to remain positive until we have further information – we’ll keep you posted!
Don’t hesitate to contact us today to set up a FREE discovery session with our team – we’d love to collaborate on your social media strategy!