Instagram influencers had already started complaining when the company first announced it would be hiding likes. Now that it’s being tested in six countries, influencers upset that it will affect their businesses. However, since the Facebook-owned platform has slowly implemented the change, the move is being welcomed by many who believe it will offer a healthier experience.
The social media platform, which began testing that theory in May in Canada, this week expanded the experiment to include Instagram users in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand; all of whom will no longer be able to see the counts of likes on other users’ posts.
“We are expanding the test to get a better sense of how the experience resonates with Instagram’s global community,” Seine Kim, a Facebook spokeswoman.
Though it has also come under fire by those who make a living on social media, the goal is to reduce pressure on people. Instagram surmises that if people couldn’t see how many likes fellow users’ posts receive, there would be less competitive, less pressurized and the social media platform would be more personal. The update allows users to see how many likes their own posts get, however, but not on others’ images; a change that will soon apply for video views too.
The general public has responded positively, as the move will allow users to focus on quality as well as what they really want to post, rather than what appeals to others. Unfortunately, Instagram influencers don’t agree, with some social media celebrities voicing their dismay on Australian program Triple J’s Hack.
Perth-based fitness and food influencer Jem Wolfe told Hack: “They said they’re doing it to take the competition out of posting — I’m not in competition with anyone on Instagram, I’m here to run a business. They’re taking a tool away that’s really important for us. I’m still going to keep posting as much as before, but it’s demotivating for me.”
If you’re an Instagram influencer, there are actually other ways for your business to stand out, such as from engagement rate, impressions and reach. However, for people who have just started out on this path, the process can be difficult.