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“Like, how will they know I’m, like, really popular?”

“Like, how will they know I’m, like, really popular?”

For some time, we’ve known Instagram has been testing the impact of removing public Likes in various countries. Now, United States users and brands are bracing to see if this will be a permanent change or if they must say farewell to their beloved likes.

As of now, a decision has not been made on whether to remove Instagram likes or not, but there is potential impact to those who use the platform for a variety of reasons. So, who will this impact?

1. Influencers

  • According to a January 2019 polling from Mediakix(an influencer marketing agency specializing in partnering brands with top-performing influencers), Instagram is the top platform for influencers, and nearly 80% of U.S. marketers said Instagram posts were among the most effective formats for influencer content. That being said, if you’re an influencer, you’ll most likely feel the biggest hit. [Queue Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain.”]

    2. Brands

    • Brands shouldn’t panic. While a loss of social proof is never something to be excited about, it’s also not world-ending.
    • Brands can continue to grow their followership and social identity by using all the best engagement-boosting tools in their arsenal.
    • This also gives brands the ability to use likes to gauge how relevant content is to specific audiences. They’ll likely still hit that little heart button, and they’ll still help bump you up in the algorithm (and thus the feed), so don’t discount likes entirely.

    3. Users

    • In an effort to decrease online bullying and put the focus back on the content itself, Instagram has been testing what happens when the option for users to see likes on another user’s post is removed.
    • For everyday users, the removal of likes is considered to be better for peoples’ mental health and online bullying. The pressure of likes on Instagram photos has given many younger users a large comparison complex. Young users feel lesser when their photos receive less likes than their peers’ content. Removing likes altogether takes away this element of comparison and allows users to freely express themselves online without the pressure of a public “like” tally.

    Putting the focus back on the content itself instead of social reactions speaks to the reason Instagram was created in the first place: “to capture and share the world’s moments.”However, there are still many ways to increase your Instagram posts’ Like count. Test new content to see how it resonates with your audience based on how many Likes you receive, because even if they are hidden, having more Likes is just one small way to help your brand increase its visibility on Instagram.


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