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Instagram hides 'Like' counts in leaked design prototype

signal

Member
Oct 28, 2017
20,462
Tech Crunch



“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.” That’s how Instagram describes a seemingly small design change test with massive potential impact on users’ well-being.

Hiding Like counts could reduce herd mentality, where people just Like what’s already got tons of Likes. It could reduce the sense of competition on Instagram, since users won’t compare their own counts with those of more popular friends or superstar creators. And it could encourage creators to post what feels most authentic rather than trying to rack up Likes for everyone to see.
You can see on the left that the Instagram feed post lacks a Like count, but still shows a few faces and a name of other people who’ve Liked it. Users are alerted that only they will see their post’s Like counts, and anyone else won’t. Many users delete posts that don’t immediately get “enough” Likes or post to their fake “Finstagram” accounts if they don’t think they’ll be proud of the hearts they collect. Hiding Like counts might get users posting more because they’ll be less self-conscious.
Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that this design is an internal prototype that’s not visible to the public yet. A spokesperson told us: “We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.” Other features we’ve reported on in the same phase, such as video calling, soundtracks for Stories and the app’s time well spent dashboard, all went on to receive official launches.
It appears there’s no plan to hide follower counts on user profiles, which are the true measure of popularity, but also serve a purpose of distinguishing great content creators and assessing their worth to marketers. Hiding Likes could just put more of a spotlight on follower and comment counts. And even if users don’t see Like counts, they still massively impact the feed’s ranking algorithm, so creators will still have to battle for them to be seen.
Narcissism, envy spiraling and low self-image can all stem from staring at Like counts. They’re a constant reminder of the status hierarchies that have emerged from social networks. For many users, at some point it stopped being fun and started to feel more like working in the heart mines. If Instagram rolls out the feature, it could put the emphasis back on sharing art and self-expression, not trying to win some popularity contest.
 

Subpar Scrub

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,071
Wouldn’t this affect people who advertise on Instagram? Or would business account owners still have access to the numbers behind the scenes?

I know it addresses followers in the article, but plenty of people have 300k+ followers and like 200 likes per image due to bots.
 

Okabe

Member
Aug 24, 2018
7,061
"It appears there’s no plan to hide follower counts on user profiles"

Sigh.

I don't even care about the count showing I just want it so people can't go through the list of them on public
 

Plumbob

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,634
This has the risk of increasing engagement in the short term, but lead to lower quality content (because fewer posts are filtered out based on low likelihood of getting likes), which leads to decreased engagement long-term.
 

Advc

Member
Nov 3, 2017
2,427
The first social media update I actually like, tbh. That way people will stop liking pics which already have a trillion likes just for the sake of following the hype train and instead search for other posts that they genuinely will like, which is what is supposed to be in the end!
 

Benji

Self Requested Ban
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
8,114
Twitter has also said they are going to remove likes

Frankly I expect Instagram as well as Twitter to essentially crash and burn if and when it happens. The driving force behind both is the like system
 

Benji

Self Requested Ban
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
8,114
This is a case of not being able to read the room or actually know your demographic

The reality is most people, even those with 10 followers, post for likes.
 

hydruxo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,460
People are going to flip a shit over this, but I like the change. Surprised they're even testing this tbh.
 

TinfoilHatsROn

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,117
I'm skeptical if it'll be a net positive for society or not. Instagram and Twitter are doing this not out of love but for another motivation. Plus these places are driven by likes and attention spamming behavior. It certainly sounds good though. We'll see.
 

big_z

Member
Nov 2, 2017
2,719
Nooo… how will I be able to measure my self worth now?

Seriously people will flip out as many use the platform forever chasing like numbers.
If facebook sticks with the change then likes will stop while posts will get insane message spam as influencers will push a "leave a comment" to like this post angle.
 

Alzarius23

Member
Oct 30, 2017
464
It's good for mental well being of the users but bad for me because I used to datamine Instagram for public sentiment and predicting how companies design will be relieved by public so financially it's not good for everyone.
 

Alzarius23

Member
Oct 30, 2017
464
I'm skeptical if it'll be a net positive for society or not. Instagram and Twitter are doing this not out of love but for another motivation. Plus these places are driven by likes and attention spamming behavior. It certainly sounds good though. We'll see.
Yes they are probably doing it so you have to pay to access their data.
 

SABO.

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,777
There will be so much backlash to this at first....then everyone will realise they dont have a platform with as much reach as Instagram to flock to and life will go on.
 

BLEEN

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,023
There will be so much backlash to this at first....then everyone will realise they dont have a platform with as much reach as Instagram to flock to and life will go on.
Yep. That is until there is another ship. Which happens every damn time. See how long this floats fer.
 

Rassilon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,539
UK
Overall it’s probably better for mental health, but I often like to know that my friends are doing well and are successful in their careers to some extent. Seeing them get obscene amounts of likes can be one indicator of that.

For sure there are other ways to conclude folk are doing well.
 

ArtVandelay

User requested permanent ban
Banned
May 29, 2018
2,309
But people need to see that my pictures get at least 10 likes! All from fake accounts!
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,882
I never liked the "like" option on social media. It works well in an algorithm sense, because the more popular posts get pushed higher into your feed, but actually seeing how many "likes" a post has does more harm than good for the mental health of the content creator. The "like" promotes narcissistic behavior and an exaggerated sense of self worth, image, popularity, status, etc. I think it pushes people to "chase the high" that social media offers - posting daily selfies on Instagram to gain more "likes", saying and doing extreme/dangerous things on Twitter to receive more "likes" and "retweets", etc. It's like a big game that inflates egos. I'd like to see those numbers HIDDEN from plain sight.
 

MiHighGator

Member
Nov 8, 2018
296
I like it. My optimistic side hopes that this will drive some more engaging and/or interesting content. It's painfully transparent the types of posts that are made to fish for likes.
 
Jul 18, 2018
2,198
I can think of several reasons from a business point since Instagram doesn't really care about a "persons well being".

I'm assuming this is how they are going to push content from advertisers or partners of Instagram and display those things in their algorithm. Since you can't see the # of likes, they can push for things without validity.
--> Impressions over likes. Can easily have them push advertisers to for front.

They are trying to make sure the pictures are uploaded and stay there. Since they said users would remove posts for not enough likes etc, now you will have users that will post pictures and let them be in the account. Which Instagram would love for you to do so they have access to more of your personal pictures for them.

# of users vs likes. They can get more engagement due to users not worrying about popularity in terms of likes. Instead they can push the # of people following you, which will be the next strategy for influencer's and such.

This is all for exposure of advertisement but hidden in a unique way that people will assume or be tricked into thinking that everything being pushed is normal and trending and such.
 

Wulfric

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,186
Awful idea.

How am I going to know how other artists in my field on Instagram fare? Publicly visible metrics are valuable for research purposes.