I nstagram users are freaking out about the platform shifting to hide likes. “What do you mean, you won’t see that 1,000 people liked my photo?” But, it’s all going to be ok. The “likes” on your photo or sponsored content do not equate to success. Those numbers, instead, have become a status symbol. It’s like a coveted position to have thousands of likes underneath your photo. So, in the shallow world of a perfectly curated Instagram page, removing likes from being shown might just be a good thing.
Testing the Platform to Hide Likes
If you’re an Instagram user in America, you might not have seen this new feature yet. But, it’s already in a couple of countries, including Canada, Australia, and Japan. What this new feature is doing is instead of showing you a number, it’ll show a couple of names (usually friends) that have liked the content. Now, for your own feed, you’ll be able to see who and how many people liked it. It will just no longer be broadcasted to the world—or Instagram.
The discussion has been swirling about amongst bloggers and social influencers. After all, having a large following and photo likes gives them the clout to reach out to brands—which is how they make their money. So, is this going to be a bad thing? The answer is no. That goes for influencers and regular users alike. Just because the number of “likes” are going to disappear, doesn’t mean you’ll become a social pariah. In fact, since it has been tested, the platform has seen a push of content. As more content gets created, the app is used more and more. For the app itself, it seems the goal is to have more content and more users daily. As a result, we can look forward to more authentic content. We can also look forward to the end of this “competition” we feel like we’re apart of when we log into Instagram. The constant wonder of how so-an-so got “x” amount of likes, while you only got half of that.
Likes were always a false currency. When the platform hides likes all across the world, we will start to see different content being published. Brands, it’ll be time for you to regroup and determine what your storyline will be, what you’re going to be publishing, and what is actually resonating with the public. This is actually really great. You’ll be able to figure out what’s really working and how to push your product further in a more meaningful way. For users, it’ll be much easier to post and get engagement from photos that are deemed more “artsy” or cool—instead of just photos of you and your friends.
Sure, as the times change, so do things we use. But, don’t worry too much just yet. While the social platform has rolled this out across a couple of countries, it seems that it will still be months before we see it in the United States. Fortunately, it’s never too early to start strategizing.