Last month, Instagram and Facebook rolled out a new feature that gives users the option to share or hide like counts. With Instagram’s hidden likes feature, users can choose to not only hide likes for the individual posts that they’re sharing, but they can also hide like counts on others’ posts by visiting the Posts section in Settings. (Pro Tip: To hide likes on one of your individual posts, tap on the three-dot menu button next to the image and select ‘hide like count’ from the menu.)
Instagram’s hidden likes feature comes as Instagram aims to “empower people, build self-awareness and shape a more positive experience.” This isn’t the first time we have seen this new feature, as it has been tested multiple times within the past few years. However, Instagram and Facebook have officially decided to make the feature a permanent part of the apps, allowing users to choose whether or not to opt in.
So how might this impact the business of influencer marketing? To start, many influencers (especially in the nano and micro tier) prioritize like count as a way to grow their presence and show value to brand partners. While some argue that followers are less likely to like a post without a count on display, we think that this new feature will provide a push towards more meaningful engagements. Users will like and comment on posts more organically, which could really enhance the relationship between followers and influencers.
Hiding like counts may also reduce the performance pressure of the platform, including the competitive nature of Instagram engagement. If the creator does decide to hide their like count, they can truly focus on the content that they’re sharing, versus vanity metrics such as likes. Brands and influencers looking to shift away from mainstream society and pop culture may choose to hide their like counts, as many users rely on this metric to get a sense of what’s trending or popular.
While we deemed like count a vanity metric years ago, we still look at the number of likes to determine engagement rate, and consider this rate with other factors to ultimately determine the success of an influencer marketing campaign. That said, it’s important to note that influencers can still see the number of likes on their end, and users can currently still see them while accessing Instagram on a desktop. At Socialfly, we also have platforms that show us analytics on the backend, so this feature will not affect our casting and reporting.
The beauty of this feature is that users and influencers alike can choose what they’d like to do! Regardless of backend reporting, it will be interesting to watch the shift in metrics and trends as more users choose to hide like counts. For more insight on what we’re seeing in the influencer marketing industry, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Lily D’Orio, Influencer Marketing Coordinator