Why Is Instagram Hiding Likes In The U.S.?

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whi is Instagram hiding likes

Rafaella Aguiar

Last Updated: Sep 3, 2021

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How do you feel about Instagram hiding likes? While not all Instagram users have this new update, many users do — and while the platform’s decision to conceal like counts is beneficial in some ways, it makes Instagram marketing harder in others. Let’s break down the why of Instagram hiding likes, what the ramifications are, and how you can continue to effectively market your brand and see Instagram growth.

Instagram Hiding Likes Worldwide

Several other countries have already gone through this new update before it was brought to America. Those countries include:

  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Instagram started to hide likes in Canada in April 2019; the other countries received the update in July 2019. According to a tweet from Instagram, the feedback from this early testing was positive, but Instagram acknowledged that this is a big change and the company is still testing to see how it works. Instagram also said it understands how visible like counts are important for many creators and influencers — a high like count, for instance, could have a positive impression on a brand looking at an influencers’ page — and added that the company is “actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.”

Midway through November, Instagram announced that the test is now open globally, with likes hidden for users worldwide. Now a random percentage of the 112.5 million Instagram accounts in the U.S. won’t see like counts, either. Instagram hasn’t announced whether this change will be permanent, but for now, it’s the reality for many users and their Instagram followers.

Why Does Instagram Hide Likes?

The idea behind this new update is that creators might be more empowered to create if the number of likes they receive is not on display. Think about it: Likes tend to create an atmosphere of competition and even shame, with creators often deleting a piece of content if it didn’t do “well enough” among the user’s Instagram followers. Instead of making Instagram a competition to see who has the most popular account, hiding likes might help Instagram users relax and enjoy creating content.

“The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said.

With the new update of Instagram hiding likes, you’ll still be able to see your own like count. It’s only other users who won’t be privy to that information. When you’re scrolling through your feed, you will not see the total number of likes and views on posts unless those posts are your own. Instead, you’ll see the names of a few mutual friends — for instance, “liked by and others.” According to CNN, you can still scroll through the list of accounts who liked the post by tapping on “others.” 

The action of liking a post won’t change. You can still “like” somebody’s post by double tapping it or touching the heart on the bottom left. You just won’t see the total number of likes tick up. 

Who Will This Affect?

As the company itself acknowledged, Instagram hiding likes will certainly affect influencers and brands who are trying to do business on Instagram. Likes are a big part of a brand’s marketing strategy because they offer social proof (if a hundred thousand people like your product photo, the product must be pretty good!). Taking this feature away might have a negative effect on brands’ Instagram followers.

But if you’re an influencer or brand, don’t worry. You can still see Instagram growth even without visible likes as long as you stay active on the platform. There are other methods of engagement, too — such as talking with users through comments, DM’s, or through the interactive options on Instagram Stories. Engagement is still an important way to expand your reach, and since you’ll still get a notification when someone likes your photo, engagement rate will remain an important metric to track.

Posting high-quality content can help your engagement rate continue to rise. Professional photos and graphics with humorous and/or interesting captions will draw the attention of your followers and help them engage with your content. Focus on curating a cohesive feed with images that are on-brand and visually pleasing, and post videos in addition to photos. Instagram Stories, which don’t involve likes, are also a great place to get more engagement thanks to the many interactive features.

In addition to posting top-notch content, you can grow your account through other methods outside of likes, too — such as having a solid hashtag strategy, using geotags, and tapping into the power of influencer marketing. If you use an influencer marketing platform to find people to work with, they’ll still be able to see your engagement rate, too. Services such as Upfluence or HYPR are a good way to get the inside scoop on an influencer you’re considering even if you can’t see the number of likes on that influencer’s profile. There are plenty of ways to grow your Instagram followers even with Instagram hiding likes.

Services such as Kicksta can also increase your engagement and get your brand out there. When you work with Kicksta, Kicksta does all of the liking and targeting for you; you simply provide Kicksta with information on your ideal Instagram followers and then Kicksta gets to work interacting with those users and growing your account. Meanwhile, you can sit back and focus on creating high-quality content — something that’s now more important than ever.

The bottom line with Instagram hiding likes is that you need to focus on engagement and content to gain followers since people will no longer be looking at your number of likes. It might take a little extra work, but you can still grow your number of Instagram followers through focusing on your content creation and using other Instagram growth tactics.

Instagram Growth Is Still Possible

Instagram hiding likes might come as a surprise, and Instagram users certainly have mixed feelings about the decision. However you feel about this new update, it’s now a reality for many Instagram users — and although it might take a little more work to get the Instagram growth you need to see, it’s still 100 percent possible to succeed on Instagram.

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