Yup, you read that right – Instagram is now hiding likes. A few months ago, Instagram announced that it would test this practice – and now it’s here.
They first started doing it in Canada before spreading it to the U.S., New Zealand, and a few other countries. This is a seriously big deal, especially if you’re someone who has relied on your like count to bring more traffic to your profile.
In this article, we talk about this recent Instagram move and find out why they are hiding likes and the kind of impact it could have on both brands and influencers.
Why Are They Hiding Likes?
Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s CEO, announced that they were going to start testing hidden likes on Instagram with U.S. audiences.
Mosseri says that it’s time they expanded their testing, as their overall goal is to make Instagram safer to use for everyone. While everyone isn’t going to be affected by this all at once, you can expect this practice to expand throughout the globe.
How Does This Work?
So, how do hidden likes work then? Let’s debunk one theory straight away – this doesn’t mean that they are going to be taking Instagram likes away completely. They will just hide them from your followers. As a user, you will still be able to see how many likes you’ve received on your post. Look below for a preview of what this looks like:
Mark Zuckerberg says that you won’t be able to see any like counts when you scroll through your feed, but you will be able to tap on the usernames of the people who liked it to get the exact count.
Can You Still See Your Own Likes?
So, even if your followers can’t see how many likes you have on your posts, you will still be able to. However, this won’t automatically appear underneath each post. Again, you will have to tap on the usernames, or ‘others’ to get this kind of insight.
Why Are They Hiding Likes?
So, why is Instagram deciding to hide their likes, then?
Well, it all comes down to their goal of making Instagram a healthy and safe place to interact with people. It’s a way to get rid of the pressure of validation and accreditation for your account. Instagram wants the focus to be less on how many likes and followers you can get, and more on the connections you have with people and the conversations you share.
This move could mark the beginning of what could be a very different Instagram experience for everyone involved.
Hiding Your Instagram Likes – and Getting Them Back
With this development in mind, let’s talk about how you can become a part of the test group that Instagram has chosen. If you already are a part of the test group, you would have received a message like this:
How Do You Become a Part of the Test Group?
If you want to become a part of the test group, the short answer is: you can’t.
This is because Instagram has been pretty selective about who they choose, and they’re not letting anyone else do the decision making. Basically, whether you get chosen to be a part of the test group or not is all about pure luck.
How Will This Affect Brands and Influencers?
Of course, the million-dollar question – or for some brands, the multi-million dollar question. How will this affect influencers and brands?
Personally, we think that this is a positive step in the right direction. It means that people can now wholeheartedly focus on the content that they make, without having to think about the number they want to be associated with it the entire time.
It’s also a great opportunity to reassess your mental health, and really think about why you want to be on Instagram in the first place.
With this in mind, though, this type of change does have an impact on already successful influencers. For example, it could be a bit more challenging for brands to find influencers that they can collaborate with. It could also make it harder for brands to gauge someone’s engagement rates and how well their community knows them.
In saying this, though, we also think that brands are choosing to move away from caring primarily about likes and focusing more on creating long-lasting relationships with people who create relevant content for their brand, and who have a great relationship with their followers. Of course, taking away the like action won’t change anything about this, especially now that everyone is going crazy over Instagram Stories and how much they matter when it comes to brands and partnerships.
It sounds like this change is forcing brands to get more creative about how they analyze data from influencers, and how they choose who to partner with at all. It could also be a good time for you to focus on another aspect of your brand – hashtags.
Hashtags are still just as important in terms of gaining exposure and promoting your brand to your community. Without them, like-minded people wouldn’t be able to find you. With this in mind, we suggest checking out Hashtags for Likes, a 100% risk-free hashtag search engine to find trending hashtags.
The recent change to Instagram likes, and its visibility comes with both its advantages and disadvantages.
At the end of the day, though, nothing is going to stop brands from reaching out to influencers, and choosing to partner with them because they believe in their engagement rates and the relationship that they are upholding with their community.
If you’re worried that this new feature on Instagram is going to hurt your standing as an influencer, or your brand a little bit, you may want to check out some Instagram marketing courses online. They’re cheap, and they will help you decide which direction to take your Instagram profile in next.