What’s Happening with Instagram Likes?

On November 8, 2019, Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri announced that the social platform will start hiding “likes” on some U.S. posts. The test, which has already been in beta in seven other countries since July 2019, began in the U.S. during the week of November 11.


Why Are Instagram Likes Getting Removed?

The move was made to “depressurize” Instagram and to help social media users’ mental well-being by taking the focus off of the number of Instagram likes their content is getting, according to Mosseri. It’s important to note that the test will not include all Instagram accounts, and it’s not clear the total number of accounts this will affect. Instagram has also not indicated when the test will transition into a full roll-out, either.
It’s important to note that this does not indicate the end of “likes.” Accounts that are part of this test can still see the number of “likes” on their own posts (in the user’s Insights section), and are able to like other users’ posts; they just can’t see the number of other users’ likes. Instead, under the post where “likes” would typically appear, they will now see “[name of Instagram account] and others.”


What’s Instagram Saying About Removing Likes?


What Does Instagram Removing Likes Mean for Other Social Media Platforms?

The move away from engagement metrics is sweeping the social media landscape. Instagram isn’t the only platform jumping on the trend – both Twitter and YouTube have made recent changes to de-prioritize publicly viewable subscriber counts, with YouTube rolling out abbreviated subscriber counts for social media influencers in September.
Similar to Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri’s sentiment around users’ well-being, when addressing this change, YouTube also mentioned “addressing creator concerns about stress and wellbeing, specifically around tracking public subscriber counts in real time.” Unlike Instagram’s test however, YouTube’s change to abbreviate subscriber counts also applies to the platform’s API, meaning any app that uses YouTube subscriber counts will lose access to the full listing.


What Does Instagram Removing Likes Mean for the Influencer Marketing Industry?

As mentioned previously, this is not the end of “likes” in the Instagram feed as we know it, but an evolution of the platform. Not only will content creators and influencers still have access to engagement analytics (particularly for Business Accounts), but engagements are still an important indicating metric for marketers and brands. The move is ultimately a good one for marketers as it will lead to several key shifts that will unlock capabilities and insights to advance and maximize the ROI of influencer marketing on all social media platforms.


Download this guide to discover the six key shifts we will expect to see and how this change will ultimately benefit marketers and influencers.