Hiding Instagram like counts is now available in Croatia

Since their introduction, likes have been one of the most important elements for the assessment of the work by influencers, so their removal will definitely not go unnoticed.

3 min to read
Written by: Tea Tizaj

Back in 2012, we had the opportunity to witness a recruitment process where new hires depended on the number of likes collected. Posts by potential candidates appeared on the official website of the Serbian web portals, and whether they would get the job depended on the number of likes collected.

Influencer marketing is nowadays also proof of the extent to which we value and depend on likes. Such marketing relies heavily on the number of likes one gets, which is also one of the factors when it comes to measuring the success of hired influencers.

Expectations and threats 

In November 2019, Instagram offered a new update to its users, namely the option to hide public like counts, at first explaining their move with a rather contradictory argument – improving the organic reach rate of posts. Overnight, we found ourselves in a situation where one of the most important metrics in influencer marketing had simply disappeared. The option of hiding like counts has recently become available in Croatia as well.

Undoubtedly, the engagement achieved is an important part of the influencer business, and Instagram’s decision to offer the option of hiding likes has both its advantages and disadvantages. As for the advantages, we can expect content creators to focus on producing higher quality content not subject to superficial metrics, and consequently be rewarded with a greater reach of posts. As for the disadvantages, influencers may potentially disappear from Instagram.

Goodbye or farewell?

Although influencers can still see the number of likes on their posts, brands and agencies will need to contact them directly in order to find out this information. On the other hand, the number of followers and comments below posts still remains publicly visible.

According to Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, the idea behind the decision to hide likes is ​​giving followers more space to focus on connecting with the people they love and the things that inspire them. Such a utopian goal would be sustainable had most influencers from countries where the option to hide like counts became available not confirmed that they had lost between 3% and 15% of the total number of likes on their posts.

If we go back to the beginning and recall the predictions regarding a higher organic reach rate, it is very likely that Instagram will be forced to change its algorithm in order to meet the supporters of the no-likes option halfway. Only time will tell whether the like-hiding option will be sustainable and whether it will make authentic content become more noticeable. In any case, this is certainly an interesting social experiment that leaves open the question whether we will say goodbye to likes only temporarily, or whether we will fare them well forever.

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