You might have missed when Instagram announced in April that it was going to test a feature for users that would hide the number of likes their posts receive. As you can imagine the announcement was welcomed with chaos and panic. Ok, I am over exaggerating but as you can expect it was met with a lot of uncertainty. I mean after the Followers count on Instagram the “likes” are the lifeblood for some people. It is like a drop of endorphin with each heart notification that pops up on your phone. Why would they change this feature that has arguably for better or worse created celebrities and made the app a must-have for any new device? Turns out it is better for the content. You can just imagine how it would negatively impact the way we use Instagram but surprisingly after a couple of months in testing, people appear to love it.

“Without seeing the Likes count on feed posts now, I find myself more clearly focused on the actual quality of the content being posted,”

Before you get too disappointed or excited; just know you don’t have this feature yet. It’s only currently being tested without neighbors up north. Not only did they get the NBA Championship but they also get to play with Instagram features first. Although like Kwai Leonard’s stay with the Raptors this is sure to be a short-lived experiment with unpredictable results. The way it works is that only the person posting the content can see the number of likes. Anyone else that sees the content does not see anything other than the comment or share icons. Users are included in the test automatically but they can opt-out at will. The test headed to six more countries so one has to assume it’s going well and only a matter of time until it comes to the States.

“I think that’s because I knew that other people seeing my photos weren’t able to judge me preemptively on the number of likes I had on my photo or the likes versus the amount of time a photo had been posted. I’m less prone to pre-judge something by looking at the number of likes first and the actual photo second,”

Donna Hall

The reason Instagram says it’s doing this is so people can actually focus on the photos and videos they are sharing with the world rather than stress over the number of likes they get. You might be wondering how will this impact businesses or creators or maybe that’s just me? Any-who; the change does not make a big difference because we have access to a large amount of analytical data that is highly detailed. So the metrics will not change from a business standpoint. In fact, I argue without this motivation for highly polished pictures and a return to capturing the moment; better data might become available.

“From the opposite side, there’s less pressure to post the perfect pic in hopes of amazing Likes, which I find refreshing.”

By Rubens Saintel

Proud father, #Haitian, photographer, consultant, writer & entrepreneur. I love video games, movies, plays, technology (surprise), beta testing apps and all things sci-fi. | |