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No likey, no likeys?

By Laurna Woods

After snapping that perfect sun-kissed selfie for the ‘gram, it’s time to post online and count the likes as they roll in.

Few Instagram users would openly admit it, but we’ve all felt that same sense of anticipation – how will this post fare against previous ones? Will it send my follower count through the roof?

Focus On The Content

However, things could be about to change; it’s rumoured that the latest Instagram update will stop users competing for likes and focusing on how their popularity compares to others, instead encouraging them to concentrate on what they are sharing.

Instagram is testing a ‘small’ design change to hide the like counter on each post. The platform insists that it wants ‘your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get’.

The shift in focus comes from exploring ways to reduce the pressure that users feel on Instagram to generate likes, and decisively step away from the platform’s online popularity contest aspect.

The belief is that hiding the like counter will have a significant impact on users’ mental well-being, dissuading users from comparing their own likes to the unrealistic and unattainable levels of popular fashionista influencers, for example.  It’s also thought that the move will help users feel less self-conscious on Instagram.

That’s right - no more having to delete those posts that don’t make the cut and meet the minimum ‘benchmark’ of likes.

There is a caveat to this though: ‘During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets’ Instagram says.

The Like Counter Will Remain Behind The Scenes

Furthermore, although hidden, the like counter will remain behind the scenes and will significantly impact what is shown on the feed as the number of likes then helps position the feed’s ranking algorithm.

Influencer Marketing Will Remain At The Heart Of Instagram

It’s also worth noting that there will remain a competitive aspect to Instagram with the onus now being placed on follower count and the comment section of any given post.

This will determine the status of any profile and help marketers identify users who can help promote their brand successfully to the masses. In other words, influencer marketing will remain at the heart of Instagram.

Although no announcement stating the official launch date of this update has yet been released, we will be closely monitoring for this change – not to mention the impact it will have on content creation and influencer marketing.

Let us know your thoughts on Instagram hiding your like counter. Do you think the like counter has an impact on users’ well-being? Will there be consequences to influencer marketing? Will it affect your Instagram posting?

More importantly… likey, or no likey?