You may have noticed or heard that Instagram is rolling out a change when it comes to displaying how many likes are shown on a post. You may no longer see the number of likes but "liked by xyz and others" instead. They are currently testing in the US, having rolled it out in other countries.
It is being rolled out now, beginning with those accounts with large followings and high engagement.
Will the account owner be able to still see likes for a post? Yes you can still see your numbers in the analytics but they won't be public.
Why are they making the change? It's a move deemed to make the platform safer for the mental health of its users. They want to remove the pressure of achieving likes and promote real engagement between the account's followers and owner. Instagram's Adam Mosseri has said, “the idea is to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition,” referring to users’ fixation with likes and popularity, especially amongst its youngest users.
Does this really mean anything for my business? Whilst likes have been one metric to look at (and you'll still be able to see after all), growth of followers and most definitely engagement - taking the time to respond to comments and engage your audience- is the best way to add authenticity to your company's posts and build your brand with your potential audience.
Do I have to switch to this or is it automatic? When it was rolled out in Canada, it began with a notification to the account holder that the number of likes would be hidden. What started with a selected few, soon became the norm and within a matter of months, the numbers were hidden on most accounts. So assuming the same kind of roll out, it will automatically happen to your account too over time.
I think this is a positive change for users who worry about the popularity contest of Instagram, and certainly will take pressure off. What do you think?