Instagram is hiding likes now finally the hiding likes is going global with its new UI feature to hide the number of likes. And it is a big thing as likes have become so unbreakable or say cultural part of Instagram that no one ever though how Instagram would look without likes. But it’s happening. Good or Bad? Time will tell, but for me personally, I think it’s a really great move by Instagram. The reason Instagram is giving for this move is “Mental Health” and it’s a good thing and Mental health should be taken seriously, but Instagram is business and there has to be some thought behind it from a business point of view. So, yes Likes on Instagram is going.
OKAY, SO WHAT’S EXACTLY HAPPENING WITH HIDING LIKES THING?
Everything on Instagram has been centred around likes these days, all the youtube Instagram gurus explaining how to get more likes on Instagram, how to get more followers, we have all watched these videos, read articles on this ( Yes even though I have done it, obviously ). But Instagram now is just removing likes, yeah just like that, say goodbye to likes (Kinda).
All started with rumours that Instagram is going to do this and which was confirmed with tests that started in Canada and then to many other countries. In the initial phase after Canada, the tests were started in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand.
Early reactions were mixed but now more and more people are embracing the change, but still, the community is still divided. There’s a joke floating around, “ we asked to bring back Chronological feed and you just removed the Likes, that’s not fair ”
INSTAGRAM IS HIDIN LIKES GLOBALLY NOW
Now tests have already started in some parts of the United States and Instagram has announced that they are going global with it. They also announce it coming to India soon, I am guessing by Year-end or early 2020.
There is no stopping it now, it is happening and we have to adjust to the change and live with it.
WHAT ARE THE UI CHANGES HAPPENING AFTER HIDING NUMBER OF LIKES?
Not a lot is changing, but ya its kinda big change though. Traditionally we are used to seeing that we got like a 100 likes or a 1000 likes. But now that’s changing & it would probably be like this (image below). You’ll get who likes your images but not the count of how many did.
But there’s a catch, other people won’t be able to see how many likes you get BUT you will be able to see how many likes you get. So how are they solving the Mental health issue they were talking about? What I get from this ( which is really good though ) that people have started judging work of artists based on likes they have, so Instagram wants to remove that. And what people to interact with the creators work and like it based on how good the work is and not just based on how many likes it has.
BUT WHY IS INSTAGRAM HIDING LIKES NOW?
Why? They are doing it in the name of mental health issues. Uhh,.. and I mean they are right about it. Instagram, since its inception, was primarily about showcasing your creativity, your art and talking about life and sharing your thoughts. It was clean & pure. Just paradise. But it has become a really ugly place where it’s all about likes & followers. People have started judging people based on the number of likes a post has. There are so many really great artists, photographers who create masterpieces but don’t get enough likes and there are people who just keep clicking the picture of the same flower from the same angle and get 1000’s of likes. You get what I am saying. Since the Algorithm change and this Instagram is becoming more and more merit-based platform.
Their official statement when the tests started out in Canada Instagram said,
” We are testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get ”
I mean seriously, Instagram’s whole business model is a reward-based system, that dopamine rush that keeps on bringing back user and now they are treating it as a photo album.
The One Valid point they have for hiding the number of likes on Instagram is that and many researchers have shown that Social Media obsessions are linked with heightened risks of depression, sadness, loneliness and envy and drop in self-esteem. So it kind of makes sense that Instagram wants to do this to make the platform safe for users from a mental health point of view.
1) THE CURRENT INSTAGRAM GENERATION
Instagram has become everything about the likes & followers, creativity is being left behind. But also at the same time to have more likes people are pushing their creativity, some are crossing the moral lines in photography in the name of the art to get more likes.
2) JUDGING BASED ON LIKES
People judge other people based on the likes they get, there is an assumption among users that if a post gets more likes it’s a good post. But that’s not the case, there are really small creators who are creating really good content but are not getting the exposure, so is there content bad? Actually, it might be better than the person getting more likes.
3) SOCIAL ANXIETY
This is a big thing and actually the most important thing. People, the current Instagram generation is going through it. So what’s social Anxiety?
” Social anxiety is the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression “
People are worrying and overthinking on such useless things like the no. of likes there posts receive. This leads to things like people deleting their posts just because they received fewer likes than usual. Like say you usually get 800-1000 likes and for some weird reason you get 300-400 likes on the post you posted and you feel so sad and delete that post and then post again just to see if it gets those 1000 likes.
END OF INFLUENCERS OR RISE OF FAKE INFLUENCERS?
Influencers make a lot of money, seriously a hell lot of money on Instagram, brands are just paying them dollars to promote their products. And I personally think apart from mental health and all that, this is an important issue for Instagram. Instagram is a business and it is watching these influencers making tons of money, so Instagram now wants a share in it, basically, Instagram is pushing brands to use Instagram Ads. But I don’t think it would work.
I don’t know how would brand trusts data provided by Influencers when likes are hidden, Instagram said they are working on that. I don’t think influencer marketing is dead on Instagram or will die, the platform has to die for that.
Will this move trigger the rise of fake influencers? These people can just buy fake followers and there is no way for people to judge as they cannot see the no. of likes. So we will have to see about that.
I ACTUALLY WANNA SEE THIS UPDATE HAPPEN AND THE LIKES HIDDEN, WILL BE A REFRESHING EXPERIENCE.
I have been on Instagram for 3 years now in the whole period that is before the infamous algorithm I used to get 2000+ likes on almost all of my posts. From there I have come down to 800 and nowadays 400. So the quality of content went down? Actually no, I am Creating better content than I used too. I am not saying I am the best, I am just comparing my old me with new me as a photographer. And we should start thinking more about the content now than the likes. And I am kinda curious & wanna see how the community reacts to this update if it comes to the masses.
I had a mixed opinion before I have written 2 blogs praising and criticizing this move. But now I really want to see this happen. And many people like Gary Vee are also happy about this change coming.
And I want to say to all Creators/ Photographers out there don’t get sad about likes going away. Take at as a positive move and embrace it. Start creating awesome content, now no one will judge you and your content based on likes as no one can see them. So that’s a positive thing.