Is Instagram Getting Rid of Likes?
As many of you have heard, Instagram has officially started testing hiding like counts. At this point, they are only testing the new feature out with a small percentage of Canadian users. Depending on how successful the trial run goes, other countries may soon follow. I live in Canada and have mixed feelings about Instagram getting rid of likes and what I’m seeing so far within the app. Earlier this week, I saw a message when I opened up my IG and it said “Testing a Change to How You See Likes”. Check out the screenshot below.
So, what does that mean? Well, you can no longer see how many people like a post that belongs to someone else. You can, however, still view how many people like your posts. But, not at first glance like before. Take my post below. I can see that it is liked by @andoherty “and others”. I think it would be really helpful if we could still see the number of likes on our own posts right off the bat. For now, at least while this new change is being tested, we can’t. To view how many people liked your post, you have to click on “others”. You’ll then see the like count along with a list of the people who liked it. You can also search within that list if you want.
So, why are they doing this?
According to the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, Instagram wants “people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they get on Instagram, and a bit more time connecting with people they really care about”. Mark Zuckerberg also stated that “We want people to be less interested in how many likes a post gets, and focus more on connecting with other people.”. I believe that this change is also in alignment with their potentially upcoming tests and features to help minimize bullying on the platform.
A spokesperson from Instagram explained it this way: “Canadians are highly social and tech savvy, with over 24 million people connecting across our family of apps each month. We wanted to test this with a digitally savvy audience that has a thriving community on Instagram.”.
How do I feel about the idea of Instagram getting rid of likes? As a marketer, I don’t like it. As a Mother, I’m all for it. When building a brand, our likes and followers play a part in how others perceive our brand. If you see a company with 500K followers, you automatically assume that they are more successful versus the company with 500 followers. The same thing goes with the amount of likes a brand receives on any given post. As a brand, you WANT people to see how many likes you get. It builds credibility and your reputation. We’ve become a society that attributes success to the number of followers, the number of likes and comments.
But, at the end of the day, I’m a Mom. And, to think that small changes like this may help re-shift our focus as a society and protect our kids from the harmful direction that we’re currently headed in, I’m all for this new change.