Instagram has made it available for users to hide likes and it has consequences for both influencers and brands. The question now on everyone’s lips is “what are the consequences of this change and how should we respond to them?”. In this blog post, we explain why Instagram is hiding likes, highlight three concrete changes the update means for brands and influencers and suggest how you should respond to them as a marketer.

Why is Instagram hiding likes?

For what reason is Instagram hiding likes? Adam Mosseri, the CEO at Instagram, said earlier in the test phase that the main reason behind the update is that Instagram wants to reduce the pressure people feel from the platform as well as eliminate the competition momentum that ‘likes’ mean – with their younger target audience in mind. The idea is that users should focus on inspiring and connecting with each other rather than competing against each other. Hiding likes is a part of Instagram’s strategy to create a more healthy online environment, which in turn should affect how people perceive and use the platform.

We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram. What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing like counts was beneficial for some, and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice.” – Instagram’s announcement in May 2021

But are likes completely gone? No, they are not. Instagram made it possible for users to choose between the options to hide like counts on all posts in your feed or only hide like counts on your own post. This simply means that your followers won’t see your likes, but you can still see how many li