On July 18th some users in New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and Japan began experiencing a change in the way they consumed content on Instagram.
These users are part of a worldwide trial Instagram is executing to remove the number of likes from a user’s post and instead displaying “and others” in replacement. The trial means followers of an account will not be able to view the number of times a post has been liked, where this was previously accessable to everyone.
Director of Policy at Facebook Australia and New Zealand, Mia Garlick explains how they aim to remove the “pressure” that can be associated with a user’s stats on Instagram, and as a result to focus “less on likes and more on telling their story”.
“We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love” Garlick also reveals.
Users and business’s themselves can continue to view their own likes, in which the change won’t affect the way they see their measurement tools such as Insights, or Ad Manager – they just won’t be able to compare them with a competitor’s.
Response to the change varies from some Influencers worrying about brands not seeing their engagement – potentially decreasing their chance to get collaboration deals, to social users praising Instagram for their focus on and understanding of mental health.
This change comes a few weeks after Instagram launched an anti-bullying feature in an attempt to prevent hateful comments, for example when users type certain words they will get a notice saying “Are you sure you want to post this? Learn more”.
Instagram has not yet set a date for when the trial will conclude, therefore it is ongoing for many users and from what we have gathered so far in the office, the response has been particularly positive!
Still curious about the new change? Or how it could affect your company’s Instagram page? Flick us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat!