Starting today, you will notice a major change in your Instagram feed. Instagram will be hiding the number of ‘likes’ a photo has received, or the number of views for a video.
Please bear in mind that is still being classified as a trial. This started in Canada in May, and now extends to another 6 countries. Interestingly this has not yet rolled out in the US, and no expected date has been provided.
The official rationale provided is
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love”
In other words, Instagram is taking away the metric of perceived success, especially for social media influencers. One view is that it is a part of their broader push to reduce bullying on the platform, but it could simply be Instagram trying to get users to refocus on content they want to share, rather than what a section of users will respond to.
While other users cannot see the number of ‘likes’ for your posts, as the account owner, you will still be able to see this. This allows you to still take note of what appeals and what doesn’t, but also gives more freedom to post posts you feel are important for you or your brand without worrying about the likes.
Users will still see the number of comments made on a post. This has the potential to become the new proxy for likes, but we will wait and see what the impact is.
Look out for more changes from all the social media platforms in the coming months.