Instagram is Playing Hide and Seek

 | David

By now you have probably heard the news that Instagram is testing ‘hiding likes’ from its users in a new roll out feature for 2019.

Currently, Canada is the only country who have access to the hidden likes feature, however.

Explained by Mark Zuckerberg, “As you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts…You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see the list, and if you have the time you can add them all up yourself.”

Personally we believe that this test is a great idea through focusing on establishing connections and engagement rather than getting caught up in the competition.

Zuckerberg backed this up by stating, “We want people to be less interested in how many likes a post gets, and focus more on connecting with other people.”

Here’s what the new ‘hidden likes’ design looks like when you’re scrolling Instagram:

Instagram hiding likes

The main question everyone is asking is whether you can still see how many likes you get on Instagram.

Well, the answer is YES. However, it won’t automatically appear under your post. Instead, you will have to tap ‘others,’ under your post to go through the number of likes:

Will Influencers & Brands Be Affected By This Test?

The answer is definitely yes, with such a huge divide between it being positive and negative, we are here to throw our thoughts into the mix and give you a little clarity.

Instagram stories don’t have any public metrics yet are extremely popular and used by brands, influencers and users alike. Some would argue that not seeing likes would work in the same way and wouldn’t hinder a brand or influencers ability for growth, but would instead change the way they think about the content that they post in order to engage with their followers.

AND because your likes are hidden away, it serves as a mental health reminder to check in with yourself: do you really need to know how many people liked your recent selfie?

Obviously there are some huge implications with brands finding it hard to find influencers to work with. Since brands in 2019 care more about reach and engagement rather than followers, brands can no longer see how engaged an influencer’s community is because they can no longer see an influencers post likes (engagement rate).

Lia Haberman notes that hidden likes could result in a spending shift away from influencer marketing and towards paid advertising on Instagram. “This will likely increase the number of ads as brands look for more exposure and make it difficult for anyone but established influencers to get a foot-hold.”

And What Does This Mean for Businesses?

The feature forces businesses to look closely at their analytics and find out what is actually working and what isn’t it. This also means that brands will need to convince stakeholders that there is still a place for organic social media based on the ‘hidden,’ analytics.

Time will tell in a few months once the test has viable feedback. In the meantime, we would love to hear what you think about this testing feature!

David Bradley
Social Media Marketer/strategist with demonstrated history working in brand awareness, conversion campaigns, B2B, B2C and lead generation across all segments of the marketing funnel.

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