Today, Instagram will be hiding public like counts on posts for Instagram users in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and Canada, to “remove pressure” on users. Instagram began the trial in Canada this May, where users had to opt-out to show the likes publicly.  Instagrammers will still be able to see the number of likes their own posts receive, but they will be hidden from the public. Users will simply see a name followed by “others” below posts instead of the number of likes on a post. The feature hides users’ likes on photos and videos in the Feed, on the web and on profiles. The platform said the change is an effort to get “your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes you get.”Without the pressure to rack up likes and the focus shifting to other metrics, the creativity and authenticity of content on the platform can soar. Instagram said the change will not affect measurement tools for business.

What will hiding like counts mean for the industry?

In May, we spoke to the president of Socialyte Beca Alexander about the potential impact of Instagram hiding like counts on the influencer marketing space. She shared her thoughts on how it will change the way users and influencers interact with the social media platform, the different metrics brands can start using, and how it could change content going forward.

Users will be more likely to ‘like’ a piece of content if that action does not incur any consequences. They’ll be less bridled by whether or not that ‘like’ will affect the post and they will actually like the post based on whether or not they like the content,” said Alexander.

“Digital metrics have allowed brands to measure the performance of all promoted content on Instagram and ultimately judge the success of their social campaign. Therefore by Instagram removing a vanity metric such as ‘likes’ on in-feed posts, both users and brands should hopefully become focused on less tangible metrics, but arguably more important factors such as the quality of the content produced,” said William Soulier, CEO and co-founder of Talent Village. 

Meanwhile, Alexander believes that influencers will feel less pressure to compare themselves to others, or to post content just because they think it will perform well. In terms of how this will affect brands, she said it will “push brands more so than ever to move towards using first- and third-party data access to receive an influencer’s overall analytics.”

Let us know what you think about this change by commenting below.

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