As you might have heard Instagram as increased the number of countries in which it is testing the new feature or to put it right a UI change of hiding the number of likes. The test started back in Canada and is now under test in these countries:
- Canada [ started the tests there ]
- New Zealand
So is it a good thing to hide the number of likes from Instagram photos or this a wrong move by Instagram and it is probably gonna hurt itself? Maybe, maybe not, time will tell. But what I think is Instagram will not go forward with this UI change worldwide. Let’s discuss this in this blog post.
But why is Instagram Hiding Likes now?
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.
LIKES an Important Metric:
The Whole Purpose of Instagram is to share pictures and stories with your friends and out in the world so other people could like it, comment on it and maybe share it with their friends if they like it. Notice here “LIKE” is an important keyword here, it is the dopamine on which Instagram operates, peoples hunger for likes, i.e to be recognized by the world. Instagram depends so much on likes, that number is such an important metric for Instagram in terms of its business that it feels stupid for Instagram to start hiding the number of likes.
Likes have become such a thing embedded into society, everyone wants recognition, to be known by all and be liked. But that has its own problems that the current society is facing. And that is the main reason why Instagram is taking this step. I have written a whole separate blog post on that if you are interested in why wants tho hide the number of likes, you can check it out by clicking here.
In that blog, I thought it was a good thing to go forward with it but after a while thinking over it, now I think it will be a complete mess.
Who are gonna get HURT the most?
Well, this is easy, the almighty Influencer community of Instagram. They’ll be hurt the most. Influencers operate not just on how many followers they have but mainly how much of a reach they have and the number of likes they get and the interactions.
The brands pay these influencers based on these metrics and also the value of service they provide to the brand. So if it has no metric to see and check, then how is this industry gonna work.
So is it the end of Influencers? I don’t think so, but if this thing goes ahead they’ll be hurt a lot.
And what about the wrong practices that might start, say somehow Instagram keeps a way by which the influencer would be able to see his likes, then when it comes to showing the brands the metrics or to other people they can fake it in a minute on photoshop or any software like it. What about that, will the new UI change kill the influencers or make a way for more fake ones.
How is it gonna affect the CREATORS/ARTIST COMMUNITY on Instagram?
Even if you say it doesn’t matter to me how much likes I get or followers I have. I am here just to share my work and improve my work, please stop it, we all know that how much we care about the likes we get and the comments we receive even if we show like it doesn’t matter.
It is that hunger that drives many to do a lot of creative stuff and ideas and yeah stupid things. Because, whenever a post underperforms it hurts, you know it, don’t lie about this okay.
Will Instagram Ads get affected?
This is where I think Instagram will hurt itself the most. So why people or small business or anybody buy Instagram Ads? To be more reach and likes right? So if no one’s gonna see the no. of likes a post receives whats the whole point. I mean why is Instagram doing this. Does it wanna shut itself down. I mean, Instagrams whole business model is based on likes and comments and shares.
Why Instagram won’t go ahead with this feature?
First things first if it goes ahead with it, they are killing the whole purpose of the app. It is not a photo album at your house that your parents open to show you your pictures. It is a place where people share stuff, communicate, share ideas and wants people to “LIKE THEM”
Second, the Investors in Instagram won’t let it happen, I bet there are heated discussions going on behind the scenes, meetings after meetings on this topic. And why investors won’t be happy? Because Instagram like many other social media platforms work on a very basic principle.
They play with your mind the dopamine rush when you get those likes the comment, the way the algorithm plays you to spend more time on the platform, that is the whole business model, they want people to be as much time they can to be on Instagram and if the main ingredient to drive that dopamine rush is missing, “THE NO. OF LIKES” then everything crumbles down.
When the test started out in Canada of this feature to remove the likes counter I was like okay. This makes sense and is a good thing, that was my quick judgment. But thinking over it after a while and now the testing has been expanded to other countries I have kind off changed my mind.
Their motives are noble, why they want to do it I get it, I have written a whole blog on that. But this is not the way. The community should be educated on the topic.
If you are one of those countries in which the test is taking place and have their Likes vanished like Thanos [ In this case Instagram ] just snapped his fingers, then do let me know down in the comments what are your opinions. Is it the right to move by Instagram?
If you loved the blog and my take on this topic do share it and give it a like, it means a lot. And let me know down in the comments your opinion on the topic, is it good or bad decision of hiding the number of likes on Instagram.