Instagram removes Like counts across more accounts

(Image credit: Instagram)

Instagram is hiding Like counts in a trial that's now being rolled out globally. The experiment started out quietly, with selected users in seven countries including Canada and Ireland no longer seeing Like counts. But it has now been expanded to include accounts across the world. 

In a bid to provide a less stressful experience for users of the social media platform, the Likes on other people's posts will be hidden – but you'll still be able to see your own Likes. This is a move that's being met with some passionate feedback, especially from influencers and artists who use Instagram to boost their profiles and generate income (we bet they know all the hacks, like how to customise their bio with Instagram fonts (opens in new tab) and how to activate Instagram's dark mode (opens in new tab)).

Instagram confirmed the move in a series of tweets yesterday and described the feedback from the trial so far as "positive".

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But the company also acknowledged that the decision could cause a problem for some users who rely on the Like and comment counts to show how well their promoted posts are doing.

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It has to be said, it's tricky to find the positive reactions to this trial. Responses on Twitter range from blogger Glitz n glam makeup (opens in new tab)'s prediction that there "ain't nobody going to be using Instagram now" to Sonia Murphy (opens in new tab)'s assertion that "it's certainly killed engagement from my perspective. It's a shell of the place it once was."  

When we asked for your reactions on Twitter, we received a range of responses. JerseyStyle Photography understands why Instagram has made the decision.

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User rbrtcnkln thinks it's an issue of power.

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And Hendrik Little thinks that parent company Facebook is using Instagram as a test subject. A valid point of view, given that there's also been talk of Facebook hiding Like counts (opens in new tab)

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Perhaps the positive reactions will be found from those not using Instagram to make money or promote brands but from those viewing the content on Insta. Instagram is reported to be the worst social media platform for mental health (opens in new tab), so it's clear that something needed to be done to combat this. How this pans out for brands really depends on what Instagram puts in place to replace Likes as the primary measure of engagement. 

However, there are already other ways to gauge content interest, and we expect there'll be more use of comments and Instagram Stories (opens in new tab) in future.

Changes to social media are always met with outrage (here's a bunch of recent social media changes (opens in new tab) you'll want to stay on top of) and then people usually learn to adapt, once their initial anger dies down. Will this be one of those times?

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Georgia Coggan

Georgia started her freelance career working for CB in 2018, and since then has worked across the site on news, ecom, SEO content... basically anything and everything. Georgia is a slave to the style guide, a logo geek and loves all things London Underground (its branding history, and not at rush hour).