Instagram is currently hiding the number of likes on posts in Australia as a “test”.
As reported a few months back, Instagram announced the new no likes feature as an idea to be explored.
Now, from a recent tweet, they are running the test in multiple countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
In the feed, there is no actual number of likes on posts. You would have to tap through to see the people who liked it On your account you will be able to see the number of likes by tapping. However, your followers won’t be able to.
But why is Instagram doing this? Why hide the likes?
Instagram wants to learn about how this changes users behaviours and if it will have a positive outlook. Users should focus on the content rather than the numbers. It allows people to post more freely without feeling competitive and pressured.
This is a big deal. People are freaking out however, a large amount is applauding.
How will this affect users, influencers and brands?
There has been a growing concern surrounding mental health and social media. There have been multiple studies finding correlations between the higher the social media usage the poorer the mental health.
With the removal of likes, it may boost the value of the actual content created and connections with community and others.
This can heavily impact influencers and brands together. Making it more difficult to find and collaborate. Engagement is one of the most important objective marketers have in influencer marketing. Without the ability to freely view the number of likes it may be hard to measure how engaged their audience is, and whether they are fit to work with.
In contrast, Mel Brittner social media strategist at Later states that “likes were always a false currency, but an easy number to give when asked how content is performing”.
Instagram is experimenting with no likes. Businesses would need to dig deeper and find a way around this. Influencers, on the other hand, maybe more willing to post more unique and authentic posts. Both parties may have to rely on comments and other more important metrics such as engagement rate, reach and impressions. The removal of likes may help eliminate influencer fraud of bots and fake likes. This change can promote a more organic platform without pressure and judgement.
Luckily we recently updated our social strategy to counter that update. Get in touch with us today!