A few months ago, Instagram embarked on a huge project in select countries in the world. That is, they started hiding the likes on posts for various accounts. According to an official statement, the aim of this was to remove the pressure of ‘being liked’ on Instagram which was messing with the mental health of many, especially young people. Instead, people would now get to focus more on what they enjoyed and connecting with loved ones. In addition, they wouldn’t feel pressured to like something just because someone they knew or admired double tapped on it.
Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own. pic.twitter.com/DztSH0xiq2
With the success of that experiment, Instagram is now rolling out the program worldwide. This will see the likes of certain accounts hidden from other users. Now users will just see that ‘others’ have liked the post instead of the numbers. In addition, only the account owner will be able to see the actual number of likes that an Instagram post gets.
While this may seem like a good idea, hiding Instagram likes will mostly affect influencers. This is because many of their jobs are dependent on the number of visible likes and reach. It will be possible for them to take a screenshot from their accounts showing this, but some figures could be doctored. This is something that Instagram is also working on to ensure that content creators can still show their value to brands.
In addition, we understand that like counts are important for many creators, and we are actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.
Also, the REAL reason why Instragam is hiding likes is about revenue, not this “mental health” story they’re on about. From the numbers, there’s over 25 million Instagram business accounts but only about 2 million advertise on the platform on a monthly basis.
I hope that Instagram taking away the number of likes allows more people to share things that genuinely makes them happy. That’s what social media is about; expressing 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧. No more sharing only what people “like” to see. It’s all yours, baby. Do what you 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦!