In April this year, we wrote an article on Husskie about strong rumours circling that Instagram was set to remove the ‘Like” button underneath social media posts. An expert had done her digging — and done it well. Rolled out in Canada first, today saw the removal of the total number of likes on photos and viewings of video on user feeds and profiles head further afield — with Australian accounts no longer showing how many “likes” a post has received.
The move falls under trial changes by Instagram to help “remove pressure” on the digital platform’s users. Users will still be able to see a list of likes on their posts, just not the overall number. One influencer who is vocally behind the move is one of Husskie HQ’s personal favourites — Ally May Carey.
Taking to Instagram to reveal her thoughts on the news, Ally posted: “The implementation of “no likes” trial, is such a great move on Instagram’s behalf. I think it will encourage creatives to produce work not just because the internet thinks its popular. No likes lends to less pressure, thus it creates an environment people are comfortable expressing themselves in — which is what Instagram or any platform should be. I don’t know when it happened, but Instagram moved from this place of self expression to a place where you had to think about creating things which would get the most likes.
“Furthermore, I think it will also encourage people to like things they have genuine interest in, versus what everyone else is liking. For a long time now I have believed Instagram to be like the empty shop/restaurant theory — if no one is in a shop or restaurant you’re less likely to go in as you believe it to be unpopular. The same happens with Instagram — it could be the move creative Instagram but it the account doesn’t boast a large amount of engagement or followers, you’re less likely to engage.
“I really think our “like” culture has really impacted our mental health. I know many people within the industry who have had to take breaks from social media. Myself included — more times than you all probably realise. I hope for the younger demographic who use it both personally and for business are able to begin to have an identify less about who they are online, who they are in real life and all in all, be more mindful with the usage of Instagram.”
While here at Husskie we are very much aligned with Ally May Carey’s take on the situation, we do wonder how this new move is going to affect the industry as a whole. Will people’s support for other accounts in the hope for support back see Instagram engagement decline on the whole? Will brands go back to supporting the large accounts due to having less easy access to engagement levels? Will people start getting creative and posting what they, when they like without fear of that number glaring out at them under their post?
It’s all possible.
So is this good or bad news for influencers? Time will tell.
Main image: Ally May Carey