Why has Instagram hidden the ‘likes’ feature?
What does it mean for influencer marketing?
Instagram users in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Italy and Brazil will no longer be able to see how many likes a post has received as part of a trial with the goal to “remove pressure” on the digital platform’s users.
“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,” Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement.
The goal, she added, is that users feel less judged and to see “whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story”.
Users will still be able to see a list of likes on their posts, just not the overall number. This also won’t affect measurement tools for businesses, brands and influencers on Instagram with business accounts.
Facebook/Instagram are hoping to learn more about how this can benefit people’s experiences on Instagram and see whether this change can help people focus less on likes and more on telling their story.
The change has sparked conversation around mental health, the BBC linked social media platforms to affecting mental health, especially of young people. While social media can harbour an unhealthy dependency on things like likes, it also has the power to have a positive impact on mental health by amplifying diverse voices and building supportive communities.
What does this mean for influencer marketing?
The change won’t have any major effects on influencer marketing and Instagram will continue to be a great space for influencer marketing. Marketers will still be able to access information on engagement, impressions, reach, etc and users will still interact with posts as they always have.
We’re all for this change if it means Instagram will become a more positive platform for its users, especially the young and more vulnerable.