Instagram started hiding the number of likes for some profiles located in multiple countries
A few months ago, Instagram started hiding the number of likes for some profiles located in multiple countries around the world. Owners of the profiles were still able to see the number of likes they get, as well as the usernames of the people who have liked them. However, other users were not able to see the amount of hearts the same post has generated. Instead, they were able to see a few names of mutual friends who have liked it and were able to tap through to view the likers’ usernames. The only way to know exactly how many likes a post has was to deal with the sometimes-impossible task to manually count them.
The test continues to expand
Initially, the Instagram like-hiding started as a test, but the trial continued to expand, and now it is seen in accounts based here in the USA. According to Instagram, hiding the number of likes is a company attempt to make Instagram a place where people feel more comfortable to express themselves and show support of things they genuinely like. Instagram wants to see its users support posts with a heart because they genuinely enjoy it, not only because they are influenced by the number of other people who have liked it. According to a tweet send through Instagram’s official Twitter profile, the feedback from the testing has been positive, and they plan to continue with the like-hiding.
The tests performed by Instagram are affecting the levels of exposure of Instagram influencers as some of them showed a significant drop in popularity after the number of likes was hidden. While influencers might not like the new move by Instagram, marketing agencies may be even more upset as they are no longer able to verify the number of likes a sponsored post has received. Agencies may now have to rely on data provided by the influencers – data that could be easily manipulated.
Is it a whole marketing strategy for paying clients?
Even though that earlier this month the Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri boldly said that he is not afraid to make decisions that hurt the business as long as they help people’s well-being and health, this may actually be a money-driven move for Instagram as they may soon release a paid “solution” to the problem for marketing agencies.
Social media networks feel left out between the business dealings between brands and influencers. In the current situation, a brand Z pays influencer Y an X amount of money for Instagram likes. But with the new move from Instagram, very soon brand Z may have to pay the social network to provide access to the data of influencer Y, which will lead to increased prices for marketing agencies or lower cut for the social media stars who are trying to sell their influence to brands.
Instagram’s move might help its users be bolder and may boost creativity as users won’t feel hesitant to post something that may not be liked, simply because no one else will know that the post hasn’t been liked that much. However, we remind you that Facebook owns Instagram, and Mark Zuckerberg did not make it to the top five wealthiest people in the world by making bad business decisions, and the decision to hide the number of likes on Instagram may end up being profit-driven.