On the other hand, the number of likes on Instagram is essential, especially for business owners who want to promote their brands. Since many business owners are spending money to get more like counts to gain an edge in the competition.
How to See the Number of Likes on Instagram
Instagram as a social media platform, and as Facebook sister app, which focuses on visual content, has significantly impacted modern society.
They have taken the negative feedback from its community of users into consideration and have chosen to create a platform giving users the freedom to express themselves without feeling compelled or pressure to produce high engagement.
Before Instagram’s updates: users could check how many likes a post had received.
So, Instagram changed to no longer publicly show the number of like counts received by Instagram posts and feed. It means that Instagram users who posted a photo or video will be the only one who knows the exact like counts it received.
The information under posts with multiple engagements indicates that the picture or video has been “Liked by username and other people” in the post-rollout view is different.
When you tap, the term ‘others’ is a link that takes you to a list of everyone who has liked the post. Therefore, it is technically possible to count the number of Instagram likes on every particular post manually – but this would be a tremendously time-consuming process in the event of large posts with thousands (or millions!) of interactions.
When Did the Change Begin?
In April 2021, the rollout started in locations including Canada. Japan, Ireland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil were the first countries to get the update.
The no-likes on Instagram are being tested globally. The company hasn’t given a specific completion date for the rollout.
So if you want to know the like counts on Instagram, there isn’t an intuitive way to do so. However, you can manually get the like counts on your photo.
Why Did Instagram Hide Likes?
Many users and experts have different perspectives on this topic. According to Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, the decision is part of the company’s commitment to protecting the platform’s community’s mental health.
The goal was to make the whole experience for users healthier and less competitive. “We want your friends to focus on the feeds, photos, and videos you post, not how many likes they receive,” Instagram explained.
However, not everyone has agreed and accept to hide like counts. More people still want to see like counts, especially to keep track of what’s trending,” Mosseri said on Twitter.
Instagram decided to hide likes as they want users to focus more on their content than how many likes they get. Consequently, this would help influencers and followers focus on creating positive experiences through posting photos.
Social Pressure and Cyberbullying
Among the reasons is that this move will help build a better community where everyone feels valued, not just those with high engagement rates.
Based on research, it has been identified that Instagram’s latest update was initiated to reduce social pressure on young people who are quite susceptible to comparison.
Instagram also aimed at reducing the extent of cyber-bullying and promote mental health among users, which is rampant in all social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook.
The move was received mixed reviews: some users enjoyed it, while others believed they were kept out of the loop about what was popular.
Instagram Like Options
As a response, Instagram has announced that users will be able to decide whether or not to hide their likes on the platform. The great news is users may now choose to hide likes on other people’s posts, deactivate likes on their own posts, or keep with the original experience.
The like count metric, in particular, is essential for conveying value to brand partners, according to influencers and creators. Its absence might have a negative impact on influencers’ average user engagement and other engagements.
And finally, it was announced in May 2021 that users are free to hide public like counts on all posts or just on their feed so that others couldn’t see them so they can have more control of their feeds and their own posts.
Instagram believes that by providing this level of flexibility, users would be able to “reduce the pressure” while sharing posts on the platform.
With this method, users can share more photos on their profiles without worrying about receiving no Instagram likes or negative comments. This feature will also help build a sense of community to interact positively while sharing their content with others.
How Removing Likes Affect Business Accounts
Instagram’s decision to pay attention to its users’ mental health is a much-needed gesture of social responsibility that might inspire other social media giants.
However, over the last few years, Instagram has developed into more than simply a place for people to express themselves.
According to 2019 research, Instagram was used by over 25 million brands, both large and small, as part of its social media marketing strategy.
How does the loss of likes impact influencers and brands is indeed the big question. Many influencers reported their engagement rates dropped substantially after the blanket removal of likes for test users in many countries, including Australia– a crucial metric that companies use to measure the success of an influencer marketing campaign.
To sum it up, here’s how business accounts will be affected by removing likes on Instagram:
No More Fake Engagement
The desire to acquire large numbers of Instagram likes got out of hand as Instagram became a popularity competition. It’s becoming more difficult to buy likes on Instagram if you’re a business since the photo-sharing platform is removing the like counts for all users.
Many business accounts utilized such services to increase their visible engagement on the Instagram app, thus, violating Instagram’s rules of service and selling Instagram likes.
Because of the hidden likes feature on Instagram, fake engagement will cease to fulfill its questionable purpose, and the shady practice of purchasing likes will eventually go off.
Removing like counts would be good for small businesses because they won’t feel pressure to compete with larger brands. Businesses can share their content without feeling pressured by competitors.
Instagram Influencer’s Evaluation Will Be Difficult
With the change, it will be more difficult to measure an influencer’s value. With likes being hidden, brands won’t easily determine if an ad is working or not.
The change also limits engagement between brands and customers. For example, a brand’s ad could garner 100 comments but have only a few likes. Without likes as part of the equation, users may think that there is little support for the content they are creating.
One possible solution is that companies should focus more on direct engagement with followers rather than just focusing on vanity metrics like follower count and post likes.
Competitor Tracking on Instagram Will Change
Social media analytics is a necessity for business owners. It is used to track competitor activity and keep tabs on how posts are doing.
The implications of the change mean that marketers who rely heavily on tracking like counts may need to rethink strategies and find new ways for determining performance.