It was announced last week that Instagram are testing out hiding the number of likes that your images get and as usual, the immediate response from the blog community was one of panic. Bloggers and influencers depend on metrics like their like count to be able to show their worth to brands – but is this really a terrible idea?
The trial has rolled out in Canada – you will still see the likes that your own posts are getting, but you won’t see how many likes other people are getting.
Instagram say they are bringing this in so it helps people to stop comparing themselves to others which is obviously a positive thing – but it could also mean that your likes could increase. Sometimes users won’t like an image because it already has so many likes on there so by removing the count, this thought process is eliminated.
It could also encourage users to go back to posting images because they like the image, rather than thinking about whether it will do well. We know we’re not the only ones who put off posting an image because it isn’t going to get the same amount of attention as other posts, and Instagram want users to be posting as much as possible.
This does mean that it makes it more difficult for brands to be able to compare how posts perform, but if this becomes a standard feature in Instagram, we’re sure that there are bound to be companies out there who build a product to be able to track the likes without needing the influencer to provide the data which could result in more interesting statistics being gathered (for example, such a site could do things like gather when likes are being given to show the influencer when their audience are accessing their posts)
Instagram has trialed new features before and rolled them back – do you remember the horizontal scrolling that was forced upon us for a few hours last year? That instance does show that they do listen to their users (at least sometimes!) when a feature isn’t well received.