Instagram can Witness an Increase in Post Volume after Hiding "Likes", According to a Facebook Theory!

Lately, Instagram has been hyping up its decision of hiding likes on user posts. This move has the potential to be a step in the right direction as it can reduce bullying on the platform and make people understand that they are not in a popularity contest.

CNBC had the chance to talk to three former employees (anonymous) of the popular social media company. According to them, hiding likes has a deeper meaning behind it. The company believes that in the absence of a like counter, people will not be concerned about getting less engagement on their posts, and this will persuade them to post more. Increase in posts will contribute in adding more time spent on the platform by users and this will allow the Facebook-owned media sharing service to show more ads to the users.

Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri has associated the decision to hide likes with the social network’s anti-cyberbullying efforts. In April’s F8 conference, he expressed that people shouldn’t be worrying about their post engagements and should rather utilize their time on the platform connecting with their loved ones.

Mosseri, during a Wired conference held in October, stated that the idea behind hiding likes on user posts is to encourage people to find things that they like and people that they care about instead of competing with others on the basis of likes.

After advertisers started to sponsor various professional influencers on Instagram, the platform became somewhat of a battlefield and several users started to take down their posts with minimal likes.

Facebook’s growth and data science team then entered the fray and came up with the hypothesis that if users do not have to worry about the number of likes on their posts, they could start posting more.

The idea of hiding Instagram likes has been in the works before Mosseri was appointed as the Instagram Chief in October 2018. However, he has surely made it one of the top priorities under his supervision.

Once the changes are implemented, users will still be notified once someone likes their post. However, they won’t be able to compare their posts’ likes with others’. Mosseri once acknowledged the hypothesis of people posting more on Instagram in the absence of a like counter.

Dylan Farella, Director of Social Media at Talent Resources, claimed that there will be no discouraging factors capable of stopping someone from posting more if there isn’t a like counter as people won’t be able to compare their posts’ performance with others (friends, colleagues, influencers etc.).

Despite of the numerous advantages associated with Instagram’s recent move, hiding likes might not bode well for influencers on the platform. Most of the highly followed influencers and celebrities on Instagram take advantage of “Like Momentum” i.e. A user is more likely to like a post once they see that some of their friends have already liked that specific post or that the post has a high like count.

If the like count isn’t displayed, their posts might not garner as much engagement as they do at the moment. This can cause these influencers to charge less for a sponsored post or brand deal.

It should be clarified that Instagram isn’t turning its back on influencers. It’s just that Facebook’s rivals aren’t established enough to get more eyes on influencers and the social media giant is capitalizing on it, as per a former employee.

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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