First announced in 2019, Instagram is now rolling out a new feature that allows users to hide likes under posts. As one of the most popular and most used social media platforms, this is the latest change in a series of updates made by Instagram to make the platform more health conscious.
When the social media giant first began testing this new feature, they removed likes altogether. However, Instagram users had expressed mixed reactions to this change with influencers and brands worried about how it would affect their businesses. Now, Instagram has moved to make this feature optional, where users are able to decide whether they want to see likes or not.
Want to know more? We have answered some of the most common questions below.
Why Is Instagram Introducing This New Feature?
Instagram first trialled the removal of likes to a test group in 2019. This test was rolled out to select users in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
Despite being a platform for self-expression and community building, Instagram and other well-known social media platforms have been known to take a toll on users lives. From the pressures of gaining likes and followers to a fear of missing out (FOMO).
CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, revealed that this update was an initiative to make Instagram a safer and healthier place on the internet. The aim is to reduce the pressure and anxiety often felt when posting allowing users to focus on the content rather than likes.
“I do think there’s more to do in this space,” Mosseri added. “The more we can give people the ability to shape Instagram and Facebook into what’s good for them, the better.”
How Does Hiding Likes Work?
Although users are able to opt into this feature, it is important to note that likes will not disappear altogether. The like count will be hidden, but users can still see who has liked the post. Users can tap to see a full list of who has liked a post- but not the total number of likes the post recieved.
Additionally, when you turn off like counts on your own posts, you can still see these statistics, even if followers cannot.
How Can You Hide Likes?
As this feature rolls out, users have the ability to toggle the use of likes by adjusting their in-app settings. If users choose to hide likes, they will not be able to see likes on others posts while scrolling through their Instagram feed. Additionally, users can hide likes on selected posts.
There are 2 options to hide or view likes.
Option 1: Hide All Like Counts
- Go to Instagram settings.
- Select “Privacy”
- Select “Posts”
- Here users can toggle the option “Hide Like and View Counts”.
Option 2: Hide Like Counts on a Post-by-Post Basis
- When posting a select “Advanced Settings”
- Here users can toggle “Hide Like and View Counts on This Post”.
- Select the 3 dots above your post.
- Here users can select “Hide Like Count”.
How Does Hiding Likes Affect Businesses, Creators and Influencers?
During initial tests, many users claimed that their engagement rates significantly dropped as users were less likely to like a post without a like count.
As engagement is a key metric is a social media marketing campaign, this created challenges when trying to gauge the success of their posts and validate their value to partners, brands and advertisers. Today, this opt-in approach allows users to decide whether or not they want to use this feature.
Although there will be more of a challenge for new influencers and brands to organically gain traction, Instagram assures it users that this update will not affect the measurement tools for businesses and creators – as all this data is still accessible.
As a whole, social media is in a period of change, shifting into a health and well-being focused platform. While some may feel discouraged when seeing a low like count, there are many other ways to gauge the success of a post. These include saves, shares, profile views and link clicks as they provide brands with an overview of their campaign as well as help guide future decisions.
What are your thoughts? Will you be hiding likes on your posts and account? Let us know on our Instagram account!
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