Instagram Is Hiding Likes So Influencers’ Numbers Mean Less In The Mobile Era
By Yimin Huang, 23 Apr 2019
Image via Ink Drop / Shutterstock.com
How would your life change if a new Instagram emerges where no one else can see how many followers or likes you have?
Researcher Jane Manchun Wong has shared a screenshot on Twitter showing the internal development of Instagram, which shows that it is concealing likes to value quality over quantity. The social media platform has also confirmed with TechCrunch that the groundbreaking design is being experimented on and not available to the public yet.
In the screenshot, the number of likes a post gets is only known to the person who posted it, and everyone else will only see one username of who liked the post followed by “and others.”
In Wong’s post, she quotes from the app, “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.”
This has been drawing mixed responses, with some Twitter users expressing relief about not having to curate their feed for likes, while others are concerned about the sustainability of influencer business models that relies on post likes and engagement.
The new feature shows Instagram’s attempt to address the very pressing mental health issues resulting from constantly comparing with others’ carefully curated feeds. However, will it spell the ending for all influencer careers? Only the future of Instagram can answer.
Instagram is testing hiding like count from audiences,— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 18, 2019
as stated in the app: "We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get" pic.twitter.com/MN7woHowVN
Instagram doesn't hide friends who liked the post in this experiment though, only the total like count will be hidden— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 23, 2019
So if you think about liking or commenting "cheers buddy! good job!" on your favorite adult film star's posts, you should still use finsta
Maybe you live for social validation? Just imagine the effect "number of likes" has on kids and teens.— Parth Desai (@psdesai_93) April 19, 2019
You can see if someone bought followers by comparing the total number of followers to the number of likes/comments. Someone with 50k followers, but with only 100 likes doesn't seem genuine.— Danny (@dannstweets) April 19, 2019
Once the number of likes is hidden, how are we (and brands!) supposed to check that?
IF ITS THAT IMPORTANT TO THEM, THEY CAN JUST REQUEST TO SEE THE OVERALL STATISTICS THAT EVERY USER HAS ACCESS TO OF THEIR OWN ANALYTICS WITHIN THE ACCOUNT, WITHOUT PUBLICLY DISPLAYING "LIKES".— BRANDON LAMAR (@itsBrandonLamar) April 19, 2019
Gotcha. I'm just curious how engagement changes on Instagram without people using likes as social currency.— Dj Shadow Fade (@with_practice) April 19, 2019
I love this idea @Instagram. As a company you deliver content that influences psychological well being. This would be a positive step in the right direction in taking responsibility for evolving social media thoughtfulness. @facebook @twitter @Pinterest— dakotta (@dakotta) April 18, 2019
[via Elle, cover image via Ink Drop / Shutterstock.com]
More related news