After months of running a test to hide the number of users who have ‘liked’ a photo, Instagram announced recently that it is expanding the test globally. This move was already in effect in seven other countries such as Canada, Italy, and Australia since May.
Likes, for some users, are often used as a measure of popularity and not getting enough likes can impact their self-esteem. The elimination of public likes is an attempt to shift Instagram from a popularity contest to a space where users can focus on connecting with people they love and things that inspire them.
When speaking at a Wired event at the beginning of November, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri cited the competitive pressures that have riddled the app for a while. Mosseri also added that the change is done with young people in mind.
His comments are in line with studies that have suggested that a focus on likes can affect the mental health of users, especially teens, and contribute to a decreased feeling of self-worth. A recent report by the Royal Society for Public Health in the United Kingdom also found that Instagram is the most detrimental social networking app for young people’s mental health.
How does this affect influencer marketing?
The total number of likes on each post will disappear from Instagram’s main feed, profile pages and permalink pages. Users, however, can still see likes on their own posts, and comments.
Thus, if you are a business who engages in influencer marketing, metrics such as likes and impressions will still be available to you for reporting and research purposed. In essence, likes are not going anywhere, they’re just becoming more private.
So fret not – at the end of each campaign done with us, Indie Collaborates will still present the number of likes each post gets in our report. Drop us an email at enquiries@indiecollaborates to find out more, or to enquire about an influencer marketing campaign you may have.