In 2019, Instagram began trialing a new feature in various countries. This feature hid the number of likes that posts received, only becoming visible to the creator of the post when they checked the analytics themselves. Fast forward to the end of 2021, and most individuals have this feature, although it is only an optional feature as of now.
Businesses and individuals have the choice to hide their likes each time they make a post. This has taken the pressure off of certain individuals to have their posts perform to a set standard. Others feel less pressure to earn as many likes as those in their social circle, a phenomenon that weighs heavily on many’s self-esteem. This feature has gone a long way in repairing some of the psychological damage that social media can have on individuals, but it also poses another question for businesses.
Should Businesses Be Utilizing Instagram’s ‘Hide Likes’ Feature?
It is understandable that individuals may want to hide their likes in an effort to remove certain pressures and make the app more carefree for themselves again. However, businesses often rely on these metrics and desire to create as much engagement on social media as possible. While many businesses are still choosing for their likes to be seen, a select few have been trialing this feature and seeing what effect, if any, it has on their posts. For the most part, those that have utilized it have appreciated the fact that a post with lower likes than desired will not have a huge negative impact on their page, as low like counts can sometimes leave a negative impression on other users. With these being hidden, other users who come across the post will be able to judge it based on their own opinion, not by how others interacted with it.
As studies have shown, there has also been no apparent effect on how posts rank in the algorithm when their likes are hidden. Likes are not the be-all-end-all of a post’s authority or popularity anyway. While receiving a high amount of likes may be validating for the one who created the post, other features like commenting, sharing and saving go a long way toward boosting a post’s popularity.
This information goes to show that there is no real downside to hiding likes. Instead, it seems like it could be beneficial to most users. As you decipher your company’s priorities on social media and determine whether or not to use the ‘hide likes’ feature, it seems as if it will be left to personal preference for the time being.