For quite some time now, Instagram has been teasing the idea of hiding the amount of likes on users’ posts. As expected, this has caused a lot of confusion about what this really means for brands, influencers, and Instagram users as a whole. Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram’s new hidden likes.
Where are the likes being hidden?
According to CNN, so far, Instagram has tested out the like-hiding process in seven countries: Ireland, Italy, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. However, in an updated article, it’s been announced that the process is now beginning here in the United States.
There is a test group of users who have already had this feature added to their feeds. However, it’s unclear if there’s any rhyme or reason to the people who’ve been picked. If this feature seems to do well, it will become more widespread.
What will it look like?
Within the app, there will still be a heart button below photos, but all numbers will disappear. Similarly to now, usernames of mutual followers will still appear when they’ve liked the post “others.”
Additionally, users will still be able to see their own likes, albeit in a different way. If your likes are hidden, you can still see a list of people/accounts who have liked your posts. Then, if you so choose, you can total the amount of likes each post received on your own.
Obviously, this poses a bit of an issue for influencers and large brands who depend on those numbers for profit. One Facebook representative told CNN, “We understand that the number of likes is an important metric for many creators, and while this test is in exploratory stages, we are thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.”
Whose Instagram likes will be affected?
Right now, it’s unclear. If your account has been selected as part of the ongoing test, you’ll get a banner at the top of your feed; however, there’s no way to opt-in or opt-out to see how the like-hiding will affect you.
Eventually, if these initial tests go well, it’s likely that this will spread to all Instagram users.
Why is this even happening?
Ultimately, Instagram just wants to be “the safest place on the Internet.” Because there has been a link between a certain amount of likes and psychological effects, Instagram seeks to make users more comfortable and create a less toxic, less comparative environment for all.
All in all, though it sounds scary and many questions still remain, we’ll have to see what really happens when Instagram starts hiding everyone’s likes. Of course, it’s not guaranteed that it’ll affect everyone, so only time will tell with this feature.
Struggling to navigate the world of social media and all its quirks? We get it, and we’re here to help. Reach out to us here at Blackwood Creative. We’re experts in content marketing and building an online brand. Let’s work together and create something beautiful.