I know I was just as confused as you scrolling down my feed. Instagram has officially begun to remove the number of likes on a post. This idea has been floated around since 2019 and appeared in some people’s feeds in some countries and now it's making a move to more people's feeds. For a few hours yesterday it was on everyone's feeds with Instagram releasing this as an explanation why.
The Head of Instagram said this about the decision to hide the number of likes in 2019.
"It means we’re going to put a 15-year-old kid’s interests before a public speaker’s interest," Mosseri said. "When we look at the world of public content, we’re going to put people in that world before organizations and corporations."
Very un-Facebook like to put the users' interests before corporations. Will this make a difference? Maybe. We’ve definitely experienced our own insecurities before posting something on Instagram hoping our posts would pass a certain number of likes. 11 likes, 50 likes, 1000 likes, whatever your number is, we’ve had it in our minds and refreshed our page to see how many people liked it and who did. There’s an increasing pressure, especially amongst younger people, to post something “Instagram appropriate” that would garner enough likes to keep on their feed. Users also delete their posts if they don’t get enough likes to give their feed a higher like per post ratio. If users' insecurities about their like counts deterred them from posting then I’m all for this; I miss when Instagram was more candid and less “perfect”.
In a larger context, it helps democratize the perceived authority of pages. A smaller page may have trouble gaining traction because people don’t want to like a page with only 20 likes on a post while they’ll like one with 100,000 likes. Pages want to gear their posts towards maximum engagement so they have a higher perceived authority when really they should be making posts that are authentic to what they like. A lot of people think this will bring the end to influencers because they won’t have the number of likes they need to market products on their page, I don’t see this being true.
Pages will still see how many likes their posts get just not others. Those with large followings and high engagement could still get endorsements on their page because they could simply share that information. And believe me, I’m still liking every sponsored post for FitTea, my likes aren’t going anywhere because of this. If anything, this might kill the market for fake likes which we can all agree is one of the lamest things out there.
What do you think about the changes to Instagram? Good? Bad? Don’t care!? Let us know in the comments.
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