Instagram has already begun testing out a new feature that allows users to hide the like count on their posts. The app, which first started testing this feature in Canada, has recently expanded this feature to six more countries — Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.
This new feature reportedly hides the number of public likes on photos and videos on your Instagram feed. The popular social media app clarified their reasoning for hiding the number of likes on posts, saying that they want users to focus on the photos and videos being shared and not the number of likes.
However, this feature does not seem to be sitting well with some of Instagram’s influencers. In an interview with Hack, an Australian influencer named Jem Wolfie, who has over 2.7 million followers, said that hiding the number of likes on a post could affect an influencer’s livelihood. She was quoted as saying,
“They said they’re doing it to take the competition out of posting – I’m not in competition with anyone on Instagram, I’m here to run a business.”
“They’re taking a tool away that’s really important for us. I’m still going to keep posting as much as before, but it’s demotivating for me.”
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I’ve made some MASSIVE business moves this month. Big decisions to further my career, set up my future and reach a huge goal ive worked years towards. Can’t wait to share these projects with you all! And all would not have been possible without YOU! I love my wolfgang 🐺🐺🐺🐺 #bigshitpoppin
This feature has also caused some concern among social media agencies as well, who think that this could make it harder for up-and-coming influencers to build a following. On top of that, brands who wish to advertise with these influencers may not be able to gauge how well a post does in terms of likes.
“It’s going to be really hard for anyone who’s starting their account from zero or from a small following,” a manager from an Australian social media agency told the news portal.
“For brands, they’re not going to be able to easily see that this person has this many likes and this much engagement. There will be no base to work with upcoming influencers.”
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Photo by @erikaexplores “Hakone is my favorite place in Japan. It’s a magical town in the mountains that feels like something out of a Miyazaki film,” says photographer and writer Erika Hobart (@erikaexplores), who took this photo with her boyfriend just before sunrise. “I wanted to capture how small and humble I felt surrounded by its majestic beauty, and this enormous torii gate provided the perfect natural framing for the moment.” #WHPsquares
Another influencer also shared the same sentiments, saying,
“I think it’ll be really hard to start being an influencer. You won’t have any backbone to show you have heaps of likes, and businesses won’t be able to see the likes.”
“It’s going to be really hard for anyone who’s starting their account from zero or from a small following.”
Despite these doubts, Instagram did clarify that users can still see the number of likes their posts receive, while their followers can’t.
We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.
— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019
Meanwhile, netizens have also weighed in on Instagram hiding the number of likes. While some have expressed an understanding of how this could hurt influencers, others believe it could also encourage influencers to buy followers.
— Talia Reeves (@taliareeves) July 18, 2019
Let me tell you the one thing I worry about this Instagram hiding likes thing is influencer fakery. I think it will actually encourage influencers (the bad kind) to buy more followers – as the average viewer can’t see the engagement metric to know if it’s legit.
— Zoe London (@zoelondondj) July 18, 2019
Now that Instagram is hiding the likes numbers, fake influencers with bought followers and shitty engagement rates can finally relax LMAO
— Gina 🌱🌸🌴🌺 (@MissGinaDarling) July 17, 2019
Some netizens, however, are welcoming this new feature, while others just want Instagram to organise timeline posts in chronological order again.
I find the concept of hiding post 'likes' numbers on Instagram really interesting. I know some people will be devastated, but honestly I think this could be a good thing! I'm sick of seeing 'likes' driven content that lacks authenticity. It's not a total cure but may help.
— Kez @ Awesomely Unprepared (@kezunprepared) July 17, 2019
Likes have officially dropped off my Instagram and I really love it. I already feel like I'm not looking for how many people have engaged and I just pay attention to what's written and been posted. #InstagramLikes
— Alex Anastassiou (@alexanasta_) July 18, 2019
we don’t want this. how many times do we have to tell you that WE JUST WANT CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER BACK !!! https://t.co/yGfUeZQxsC
— ✭a (@arii) July 18, 2019
just bring back chronological order oh my god https://t.co/jqwopy7u8J
— Christina Marie (@BeautyChickee) July 17, 2019
What are your thoughts on this feature that Instagram is testing out? Let us know in the comments section!
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