Instagram hides the number of likes

Instagram is testing the possibility of hiding likes from photos and videos. The first to anticipate the news was Techcrunch a couple of weeks ago. What had been announced initially as a remote possibility, within a few days became a reality.The tests have officially begun in Canada and Europe.

But why does Instagram intend to hide likes from photos and what repercussions could this decision have on the future of the social network?

Eliminate the “likes” will run a race to increase followers? Because Instagram has decided to hide likes from photos Just a couple of weeks ago, Instagram was trying to reduce the scale of this indiscretion, stating that tests had not yet been scheduled, but that it was only considering whether to hide likes from photos and videos. From an empirical evaluation we have passed very quickly to field tests. And frankly, the speed with which Instagram has gone from theory to practice has caught everyone off guard. We want your followers to get the most out of it. During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.

This is the message with which Instagram explains its decision to temporarily hide likes from photos and videos. The tests started in Canada and not by chance. Canadians are considered, with good reason, evolved users, very active and receptive to the innovations of social networks and the Internet in general. The will is to ease the pressure that the user feels against the opinions of the other members of the community. Ratings that on Instagram – and not only – are measured by the number of likes. Recent studies claim that social networks, if used incorrectly, cause unpleasant feelings such as envy, frustration and even depression. A study conducted in 2013 by Krasnova et al on Facebook is indicative. During the test it emerged that 20% of participants experienced feelings of envy and frustration. And who of us at least once in a lifetime has not experienced similar sensations on Instagram, observing the seemingly perfect lives of influencers or alleged ones? Travel to exotic, physical locations carved in marble. Glitz and luxury flaunted without restraint.

Reducing the pressure of judgment, encouraging users to share more plausible content would seem to be the motivations that led Instagram to hide likes from photos. What is happening in practice So Instagram has decided to hide the likes from the photos to make the social a better virtual place. Noble motivation, but at the same time quite risky. In short, here we are not talking about modifying a marginal aspect. Instagram is entering tackle in an attempt to break a dynamic on which the entire platform is erected.

The tests that are taking place in Canada and Europe are not permanent. They have a fixed duration, at the end of which everything will return as before. Subsequently the hypothesis of extending the tests in the rest of the world will be evaluated. Everything obviously will depend on the feedback generated during this first, very delicate phase. Another fundamental aspect. Likes on Instagram are hidden from others, while you can still view them in statistics. For this reason, I venture a hypothesis, it will be necessary to have a company profile. And this very aspect lends itself to some suspicion. Instagram has decided to hide likes from photos, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like it any more. The likes will continue to be counted by the algorithm and the success of a content will continue to depend on the number of interactions.

So from a practical point of view, nothing changes. The success of a photo will always depend on the number of interactions it receives, including likes, even if the latter will not be visible to other users. What scenarios are on the horizon We accept, as it should be, the reasons that led Instagram to hide the likes from the photos. Let us avoid, at least for now, speculations of any kind and stick to the facts and official announcements.

Social media intends to improve user experience. First of all it wants to lighten the pressure that the user experiences with respect to the judgment of others. Which, on social media, translates into likes, but not only. The goal is ambitious. Maybe too much. Social networks are based on very specific dynamics. At a conscious or unconscious level, each of us wishes to be accepted. We are all victims of the judgment of others, some more than others. We want to show the best aspects of us and from this point of view Instagram and Facebook are virtual windows that can inflate our ego to excess. So I want to show a winning image of myself and to do so I try to exalt my strengths to the maximum, hiding the flaws. On Instagram, even more than on Facebook, this phenomenon is getting out of hand. It is all very fake, little corresponding to the reality of every day. In this way unattainable models are created. And from these continuous comparisons, feelings of frustration, envy and even depression are born. Thinking of disassembling these dynamics simply by hiding the likes is from my point of view utopian. Hiding the “likes”, Instagram will subtract an element of evaluation, but not the evaluation itself. If it is no longer possible to judge content based on likes, there will always be comments as a yardstick. These will take on an even greater importance and in my point of view it is not a case. It is easy to get like fake, much more complex to buy fake comments. The latter are very easy to spot. And on this aspect I suggest you to focus your attention. Noble resolutions apart.

Some fear that with the disappearance of likes, the number of followers of a profile will be even more important. This could encourage the acquisition of fake followers. Perhaps very soon those who implement this unpleasant strategy will no longer have to worry about engagement, or the relationship between likes on photos and number of followers. The internal influencer marketing business could be compromised in some way. If Instagram decides to permanently hide the likes from the photos, how will brands be able to evaluate the profiles with which to start a collaboration? You will need to request screenshots of the insights in advance. Very laborious for a preliminary assessment.

In short, it is really complex to predict today what repercussions the choice could have of hiding likes from photos on Instagram. While it is necessary to appreciate the reasons for this decision, it is not possible to ignore the negative repercussions it could cause. however , one could  see the number of likes on Instagram Web. Personally I think the move is a gamble, who knows if Instagram will decide to go all the way. 

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