Instagram reported earlier this year that they were going to be testing a new feature which included hiding the likes associated with posts. In early May of 2019 Instagram rolled out this feature to a high percentage of users in Canada, and the reaction is bittersweet.
Here’s what the new design looks like when you’re scrolling through Instagram:
Photo by: later.com
As you can see above, the exact number of likes is no longer shown to your followers as they scroll through their feed, but the good news is that you will still be able to view the likes on your own posts. Just tap on “others” under your post, your likes will be displayed at the top of the screen:
Photo by: later.com
How will this affect brands and influencers?
Surprisingly, many users are fans of Instagram’s decision to hide likes. it’s no secret that showing likes results in a mass popularity contest which generally takes a toll on one’s mental health. A lot of people are glad that the sense of pressure to get more likes than their peers is coming to an end, this gives us a chance to focus more on the content we put out, but how do brands and influencers feel about this?
Most influencers have made a career off of branding themselves on Instagram, the new update means that businesses will no longer be able to audit influencers before they decide to invest in brand deals and sponsorships with them. There is a slight fear that influencers will feel more inclined to fake engagement and followers as Instagram continues to remove transparency into other user’s accounts, this is bad for businesses as it’ll be hard to predict the outcome of brand deals and sponsorships without actually spending money first.
Instagram has yet to announce whether or not this update will be rolled out worldwide, the good news is that even if it is, there are plenty of specialized tools to help businesses audit and find the right influencers to work with in their industry!