News that popular social media platform Instagram will be testing out a feature that hides “likes” on posts has many of its users in a tizzy, particularly those who depend on the social media app as part of their living. Yes, we are referring to Instagram influencers.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced that it would be testing a new feature called “private like counts”, which hides the number or likes a video or picture receives from the public. Effectively, this means that only the person who uploaded the content will be able to see how many likes their post receives.
For Instagram influencers, likes are an important aspect of their job. The number of likes they receive on a post is an indication of just how engaged their followers are, which in turn encourages brands to pay them to promote their products.
According to Instagram, it has not yet tested the feature but is exploring ways to reduce pressure on the social media platform.
While being tested, this feature will likely effect a massive change on the platform’s functions, as post likes are part of what incentivizes users to post more often. It also can incentivize the posting of less authentic content, however, like gorgeous landscapes, nudity, or “thirst trap”photos that might garner likes, but aren’t the most interesting or thoughtful.