Where are my likes?
Many Instagram users on Tuesday night noticed that their timeline was looking a bit different after it appeared that they could no longer see the number of likes on pictures and instead saw the post was liked by one named Instagram user “and others.”
In 2019, Instagram began testing the idea of removing likes for a small number of users in Canada as a move to reduce the amount of pressure that its users feel to get a certain amount of likes on the platform and alleviate the need some users feel to be “popular.”
Instagram’s PR team quickly took to Twitter to clear up the confusion and explained that they had unintentionally added more users to the testing experience of hiding the number of likes, but not before both negative and positive reactions poured in about helping protect users’ mental health and others concerned about the impact on influencers’ income.
As PR professionals, we know that likes are not a direct reflection of results or potential to drive a consumer to act. I was happy to see some of Instagram’s biggest influencers that I follow speak up after the glitch explaining that seeing the number of likes doesn’t affect their income, highlighting that it is the relationships they have formed with their audiences that drive results and acknowledging that likes on a photo are not the metrics that PR/marketing professionals focus on to measure success.
Even if Instagram does decide to permanently do away with showing the number of likes for all, users will still be able to review their personal insights including, number of likes, engagement, reach, etc., and share this with brands if needed.
What are your thoughts on Instagram deciding if they should do away showing all users the number of likes a post receives?