Instagram is continuing with its rollout of the global “no public likes” by running the test on the U.S. market.
“The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram. Make it less of a competition. Give people space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them. But it’s really focused on young people.” – Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri
In an attempt to remove the social pressure of metrics on Instagram for young people, Instagram will now hide the number of likes to other users but you and everyone will still be able to see a list of each individual account that is interacting with your posts.
Why remove likes?
The move to hide likes in a portion of U.S. users is to try out a new way of interacting with social media. The company is particularly interested in creating a safer space for Gen-Z users who are acutely concerned with mental health.
Many people are still unhappy with the hiding of public likes. Some have pointed to comments as the feature that hurts mental health the most rather than likes. One of those advocates is Cardi B.
What about the Influencer Industry?
But the biggest debate about the removal of likes has been about how it influences the influencer community. Some view likes as a burden of a metric that can discourage creativity and content. Others are reliant on the numbers of double taps to inform them of what’s working and what’s not.
Furthermore, likes are a metric that influences which accounts brands will work with. That truth means that the metric has power over business and money for many Instagram influencers. Because the amount of likes is still virtually although less directly accessible to Instagram influencers, this might calm worries about lost wages. But will brands adapt quickly to accommodate the sudden lack of likes when working with influencers?
In fact, will this give smaller influencers and accounts a better chance at making it? If the content rather than the likes is at the forefront of the posts then perhaps better and more authentic creativity will be the result.