What Will Happen If Instagram Goes Ahead With Removing Like Counts On Posts?
Tons of research has been done on how social media use (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and so on) can negatively impact one’s mental health.
This is why Instagram is toying with the idea of completely hiding the number of likes a user gets on a picture. This is in an effort to ease the unhealthy pressures we often feel and for the platform to become a space where everyone feels worthy to participate.
“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand Director of Policy, said in a statement.
“We hope that this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing things you love.”
How is it going to work?
The Facebook-owned picture-sharing app has already tested this in Canada and has now expanded their trial to five other countries including Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand.
Instagram users will only be able to see one user name and ‘others’ (without a specified number) under another users post. They’ll be able to click on ‘others’ to see who has liked the picture, and if they’re feeling up to it, do a manual tally for themselves to see how many people liked it.
The person that has posted an image will still be able to see the number of people that have liked it.
What happens to ‘influencers’?
The first question that immediately comes to mind is what happens to influencers and other people who make money off Instagram based on the number of likes they get?
Adam Williams, the CEO of Takumi (an Instagram influencer marketing platform) weighed in on the impact he believes this move will have on how the platform is utilised. He reckons that it could be an important step in improving any negative public perception of influencers and that it could encourage better marketing practices.
“As a result of Instagram hiding likes, commonly seen as a driver of social media pressure, consumers may be more likely to interact with a wider range of brands and creators they have a genuine connection with and passion for, rather than simply liking the most popular ones or trying to ‘keep up’,” he said in a statement.
“Having likes hidden on Instagram could also result in more authentic individualism and creativity in influencer content, improving the experience for consumers.”
The general notion is that influencers will have to work a bit harder on creating quality content instead of just relying on likes to carry their deliverables. The move might also put a stop to the buying and selling of likes since they would no longer have as much value.
Could it be a push for more video content?
David Shadpour, the CEO and founder of Social Native (a platform that connects brands with content creators) also believes that Instagram could be pushing users to InstaStories.
“The goal of Facebook and Instagram is to push users to Stories, since they believe the future is in short-form videos, not static images,” he said in a statement.
“By reducing the focus on likes as an indicator of success, creators will more creative control – focusing on content and transitioning their content towards videos.”
The removal of likes will also encourage users to post a lot more than they do now because the pressure of getting the most likes out of an image will no longer exist.
One thing is for sure – this is going to change the game!
What are your thoughts on this move?