Why is Instagram Hiding Likes?

Last November, Instagram began a test to hide “likes” for U.S. users, and announced that it will be rolling out the change everywhere in the world.

This upset some (really) big influencers including Nicki Minaj who tweeted that she was going to stop posting on the platform because of the decision. She hasn’t posted on her Instagram account since then either.

Based on a survey of 502 consumers poled from The Mainfest, more than half (55%) said they don’t have an opinion regarding Instagram’s decision. About 20% of people supported the decision to hide likes, while 25% oppose the decision.

Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri  says the move to hide likes is to reduce stress and anxiety on users. They want to try and depressurize the platform and make it less of a competition by giving people more space to focus on connecting with people they love and things that inspire them. Creators will still be able to see like counts on their own posts, but Instagram will not display those publicly.

Interesting that Instagram that is continuing to make follower counts public which is arguably an even more important metric for gauging popularity and traction.

Some believe that Instagram is hiding likes because user engagement has been waning and that the change stems from core business reasons.

Some believe that by hiding likes, Instagram will help alleviate the negative backlash that comes from declining organic engagement on a platform over time as well as protect their reputation as Facebook’s more engaging social media platform. In addition, by making likes private, Instagram will control the flow of that data.

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