Instagram is Hiding Your Likes: Is this Good or Bad?

Written by Social Media Assistant Brodie Allison

Instagram is Hiding Your Like Count

In an internet-driven world where everyone is striving to get the most amount of comments and views, not only are most social media users looking for other people’s attention, they’re looking to get some sort of self-validation by getting more likes than any of their friends. Well, some people might be upset, because Instagram is hiding likes.

At this year’s annual F8 developer conference, Instagram revealed that it will start testing a new feature that hides public like counts from user posts. This feature completely removes the total number of likes on photos and video views in Feed, Permalink pages and Profiles. This means that only the owner of the post will be able to see the number of likes their post has received.

Instagram is only testing this in Canada so far, but we could very likely see them unfold this feature around the world. While some might think this is an unneeded move, there may good reason behind the method to Instagram’s madness. 

When asked about the reasoning behind hiding like counts, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, said the new feature is designed to minimize the stress of posting online, where users can fixate on how many likes their posts attract.

“We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about.”

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram

Over the last few years, social media companies have faced immense backlash about the negative effects that social media can have on a user’s mental state. While it’s hard to concretely exemplify the true negatives, most users can agree that there is some level of unhealthiness to the shallowness of social media. Instagram is trying to help that, and here’s why it’s a good thing.

Hide our Likes Please!

We are constantly checking social media. Average users can spend anywhere from 2-4 hours on social media apps per day. Checking their timelines, responding to comments, and making sure they’re getting their daily dose of likes. Before the “like” button was a thing, people had to call their friends up, and tell them that they liked the Christmas card they sent in the mail. Now, you just hit the like button on that Christmas picture and talk to your friend in a year or so. 

 Instagram hiding likes is for the better. Not only for the average user, but for businesses and creators alike. As a small business trying to grow a social media following, it can be discouraging and discrediting if your posts aren’t getting that much attention. People expect businesses to have loads of followers and get tons of likes to be credible, but when you’re starting out that can be impossible. Now people will have to judge your business purely based on the product or service that you offer, and not based on any number of likes.

Creators and artists, will now be able to focus on their craft, and not have to worry about people judging their work based on how many other people are liking it. Social media has formed a validation loop of followers and leaders and everyone feeds off each other. If a post has one million likes, people are more prone to like it than if it was the same exact content, but with only one thousand likes. This new feature would offer all users a more even playing field, to try and grow their brand. 

Social Media Users Can Relax

Over the last 15 years, social media has changed our world in infinite ways. We do business, we make friends, we find love and passion, all on our Instagram and Facebook profiles. While it has become an important part of many people’s daily lives, we haven’t quite had a chance to think about the impact it’s had on our relationships and our well-being. Social media was never intended to make us compare each other or control our lives, but to be at our service as we continue to pursue connection with people all over the world.

By getting rid of the importance of flashy numbers, as well as engaging in relevant conversations about the negatives sides to these platforms, social media companies have a chance at mitigating a portion of the unintended negative outcomes their apps have had on our lives.

At the end of the day, this is about realizing the impact that social media has had on people’s everyday lives, and figuring out ways that we can make sure we’re getting real value out of it. Instagram made a bold step in the right direction when they said they were getting rid of likes. We will have to wait and find out how we can truly benefit from these positive actions.