Instagram Is Hiding Photo Likes: So Now What?

Written by Joseph Raguso, Content Creator

What is Being Done to the Popular Social Media App? 

In a shocking announcement last week, Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, said the platform will begin hiding like counts on certain posts as a test to see if it positively affects users’ mental health. “We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health,” Mosseri said. The social media platform has already begun hiding likes in countries like Brazil, Canada, and New Zealand. The driving force behind the movement is an attempt to ‘depressurize’ the massive youth audience Instagram has, and connect them to more inspiring and positive content. The Instagram landscape has received plenty of criticism due to the competitive influencer environment that creates a battle for likes and comments among followers. The platform wants the landscape to give users the ability to express themselves comfortably without having to compete for likes. 

How It Works

The orientation of the app should not change drastically, but posts will now say ‘liked by username18 and others” without a numerical count beside it. Instagram isn’t the first social media platform to temporarily reduce public engagement metrics. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have all tested the idea. While you cannot see likes on posts across your feed, you will still be able to view the like count on your own photos and videos. Some good news for business accounts: you will still be able to receive the same metrics for reporting and research purposes. The bad news about the change is for organic accounts with a large audience. These accounts won’t be able to flex their muscles about like counts or views that often have the biggest influence on the youth-centric audience.

What This Means 

This decision has been met with some backlash from both reality and Instagram celebrities. The change has them quite nervous because it affects their already successful business model; using likes and popularity to push a product or service. Without that model’s success, their posts lose engagement and consequently losing them money. Canadian influencer, Kate Weiland, has already seen the first hand the effects of removing as counts have on her page. She says likes are a “motivation factor” and that “Now there’s no audience applause at the end of a performance. It’s kind of like crickets in the background.” Likes are considered by some influencers as the currency of social media, and removing them could create a big change in the influencer advertising industry.

The Future of Instagram

While the partnerships are still intact with these companies and influencers, the decreased numbers in engagement that they have seen and are anticipating may cause companies to look in another direction with their advertising dollars. A trickle-down effect is sure to follow because they desire to like other posts that will decrease throughout users. Canadian influencer, Jess Grossman, said, “I’ve started liking less, because what’s the point?” Will the decreased incentive to like posts drive Instagram out of popularity? Or will users and influencers adapt to create a new source of engagement? The answer to these questions will be determined by public as well as corporate reaction when Instagram removes like counts in the U.S.

At MSM DesignZ, we make it our priority to remain up-to-date with current social media trends across all platforms, including Instagram. We create unique, unprecedented social and digital marketing strategies that are tailored to fit our clients’ specific goals. To request a quote, call our main office in Tarrytown at (914) 909-5900. We look forward to working with you!


Instagram is testing out removing likes — here’s what it’ll look like