Have you been prompted with a message on Instagram about viewing or hiding your like count? Or, maybe you have noticed over the last year that Instagram likes have been removed and reintroduced every now and then?
Well, Instagram has been working on some changes with this, which have now been finalised and released globally. This quick read will cover everything you need to know about the update, and how this will be relevant to influencer marketing on Instagram.
What is this feature?
Instagram is definitely no stranger to the negative comments and claims about social media’s impact on young people and mental health. It has been suggested that platforms like Instagram put too much pressure on societal hierarchy, and give young people unrealistic expectations.
Instagram is constantly striving to overcome these obstacles, releasing new features to make social media an enjoyable and safe environment for all. They have been working behind the scenes on this feature since 2019, testing it out in different locations throughout these years.
The ‘hide likes’ option is now available to any Instagram user across the world. It gives users a choice to hide the number of likes received on their posts, or to keep them shown if they wish to. By having the option, it allows for complete individual choice, aiming to prevent the pressures associated with social media. Instagram views this as giving people more control online.
How to activate it
As with most updates from Instagram, this feature is pretty simple to activate, if you wish to.
Just follow these steps:
- Tap on your Profile icon, then follow to Settings.
- Click on Privacy.
- Then, Posts.
- Finally, you will see ‘hide like and view counts’.
It’s important to note that once this is activated, you will also be unable to view like and view numbers on other posts.
However, if you choose not to activate this feature, you will only be able to see likes and views of those accounts that have made this available. If not, they will still be hidden for these accounts.
How does removing Instagram likes affect influencer marketing?
As with the majority of these updates, there is an effect on influencers and brands, whether positive or negative. It’s hard to say yet what this will mean for influencer marketing, with it being such a recent change.
What we do know is that it gives everyone a choice. Every user has full control over if and when they choose to change this. Maybe one week you decide it would be better to have this switched off. But maybe next, it would be more beneficial to have it visible. It’s totally up to you.
For many brands and influencers, likes are used to understand not only what is trending within the market, but to measure success of campaigns. Of course, influencer campaigns can still be measured by knowing your own like numbers.
Yet, to gain an understanding for the engagement of others’ posts, this feature makes it a little trickier.
But, there’s no need to worry about the impact that this may have on influencer marketing. The predictions would make it seem as though influencers and brands will continue to make their like numbers available, and this feature may only be activated for personal usage.
Additionally, when working with an Instagram influencer, you can still request permission to view their Instagram Insights, so that you can continue to view the results of a campaign, even if this is hidden to others.
As this feature has just begun rolling out, we are yet to see its usage across the platform, and the effects that this will have. Whatever way you look at it, this newest feature from Instagram is definitely another step in the right direction for allowing users to have an enjoyable, pressure-free experience on social media.