When someone sees an eye-catching post on Instagram, the natural reaction is to like it. Once people like a post, there’s a tendency to check the profile of that post daily. But with so many brands trying to market on social media, the like counts ceased to become a measure of true engagement. Most Instagrammers will like a brand or product in exchange for a reward. So, a time came when Instagram hid the like counts from the public eye. But things change. Today, Instagram tests an option on how to unhide like counts.
On 11 November 2019, Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, announced that the platform will hide like counts on Instagram posts. Before that, Facebook and Twitter have made the same move. Such moves were made to avoid pressure from getting likes on a post, which seems to be not a true measure of engagement. Recently, Instagram is testing an option on how to unhide like counts.
When Instagram hid the like counts from the public eye, an Instagram profile owner can still see it on the account. But it will not be displayed among followers and other Instagram users. What Instagram is testing is to show like counts by default. An Instagram user will then have an option to hide them via the post composer or retrospect. This test is being because of associate research studies done last November 2020. The study showed that like counts can be beneficial in some scenarios. Some users may also want to show like counts to indicate relevance on Instagram.
Instagram tests option on how to unhide like counts as of 14 January 2021.
Implications for Marketers:
As Instagram tests option on how to unhide like counts, it’s giving users the freedom to choose whether they want to show it on a post or not. For marketers, putting back the like counts on display can encourage Instagrammers to patronize a brand. They may not be a measure of true engagement on personal Instagram accounts. But for brands, it can boost awareness and conversion.