It’s Not All About The Likes

Did you hear the buzz? Instagram is currently testing some ways to increase the importance of interactions, not just empty likes. And has implemented this change in Canada.

Here is your social update:

Instagram’s main objective is to maximize the amount of time users spend on the platform. It all comes down to dollars. The more time a user spends the more ads they see, the more posts they like, and the more important this particular platform becomes, for not only personal use but for social media marketing as well.

With that said, there is concern about the negative effects of social media and the belief that counting likes can be harmful to users’ mental health. Instagram is aware of this concern, and Co-founder Kevin Systrom told Tech Crunch that getting away from the pressure of Like counts was one impetus for Instagram launching Stories.  Very interesting.

Side note, we always stress the importance of the Story to all of our clients and sphere of influence.

We have stressed the importance of interactions and engagement on social media for all the accounts we manage— your social media efforts should not simply focus on like count. This change could in fact help do just that.

So, spill the tea!

According to Tech Crunch, the design change would hide the number of likes a post gets so that sharing on Instagram is more genuine. Now, people post to simply collect tons of likes.

A spokesperson from Instagram told Tech Crunch that, “exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.”

Instagram has implemented this change in Canada as a test.

instagram profile

Via Tech Crunch

With the test, Instagram plans to remove the total number of likes from photos and videos that show up on the main feed and profiles. The original poster will still be able to see this info but followers will not.  Instagram says it is testing this because it wants people to focus on the photos and videos users are sharing, not just the amount of likes they’re getting on their posts. Tech Crunch announced “Instagram has also recently redesigned the profile to make follower count much less prominent, the app’s head Adam Mosseri says.” The hope is that the change will refocus users. Hopefully making the emphasis on self-expression instead of just a popularity contest.

If Instagram does implement this design change worldwide the impact to digital marketing and social media management could be to:

  1. Help brands focus on authentic interactions and relationships (and isn’t that what social media is actually all about?!).
  2. Rid the platform of buying likes and followers (which supposedly they have started to focus on as well)
  3. Increase the amount of content people share. More content = more time using the platform
  4. Deplete “herd” liking and help people see content they are actually interested in

So, what do you think about hiding likes?


Looking for ways to enhance your social media marketing? We love thinking out of the box. Let’s find ways to help your marketing efforts engage more people.

two women in office on phones

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