The screenshots visualize how Instagram plans on “hiding” the number of likes posts get. On the third screenshot, Instagram notes: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.”
This sounds like a well-meaning gesture, and surely its effects, once officiated, will ripple.
The most immediate effect would be that it will devalue likes. Likes have always been the big commodity on Instagram; how else would be a photo of an egg be internet-famous? This means that auto-liker engines will lose their shine as well.
Influencers, or anyone who makes their living out of Instagram, will also have to find creative ways to justify the mileage of each sponsored posts. They will have to presumably resort to comments, shares, and other forms of engagements—which, in hindsight, are more involved interactions over “double-taps” or likes.
Instagram has yet to announce an official rollout date for the feature, but the company has confirmed (via TechCrunch) that the tests are real. I guess it’s safe to say goodbye to the like counter at this point, huh?
What are your thoughts? Chime in the comments below.