It is still relatively early to say how the Instagram ‘likes’ ban in selected countries will affect the number of people actually liking a piece of content posted by their favorite influencer.
While brands and content creators have attempted to adjust in countries like Canada, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, and Japan, where the ban was introduced last month, there still remains a discussion surrounding the efficacy of this test being carried out by the Facebook-owned social platform. Ultimately, at this point in time, the potential positive outcomes of a more “healthy” environment and higher quality content are yet to be seen.
Here, content creators from different countries around the world share their views on how they see the latest Instagram decision having an impact.
It will change the way people use Instagram
“I think it’s a great initiative. Likes are causing anxiety amongst users and hiding them will change the way one uses Instagram. Content will be created for the content and not to get likes.”
Pooja Dhingra – Pastry chef. Founder and CEO @Le15India and author
Only good content will matter
“Definitely a good initiative because in a world where the number of likes proves a person’s popularity or not, there is a lot of competitiveness, depression and imposed standards. I think hiding likes will direct people towards paying a lot more interest to the content itself, and only those ones with good content will continue to influence people’s lives.”
Bruna Martimiano – Blogger and digital Influencer
There are two sides to it
“We see the good and bad side of it. The good: without the pressure of having really high engagement, creators will have more freedom of expression with the content that they’re making. Either they get more personal to connect with their audience more, or they create even more beautiful content to continue standing out. It can encourage newer creators, too, to create more as they would be judged by quality rather than likes.
However, the bad side of it is that this can be a move for the platform to control engagement more. If no one can see the likes, the algorithm can try to lessen exposure to content and they can prioritize content distributors that are spending more money (advertisers and promoters).
Ruben Arriba and Rachel Pregunta – Content creators and travel bloggers at @gamintraveler
People will stop comparing themselves to others
“I believe it’s a good and a bad thing really depending on what way you look at it . It’s not really good for people that are promoters or influencers as they work with a lot of companies that send them clothing and other things because they have a really good following on their Instagram and get a lot of people liking their pictures, which means a lot of people see what they post and may potentially buy it. On the other hand, it’s good for people’s mental health as they can stop comparing themselves to others.”
Peter Hopkins – Footballer, Model, and Influencer
It may impact engagement
“I think it doesn’t necessarily impact the creator-brand endorsement relationship as creators will still be able to view likes on the back-end. However, not seeing a large number of likes may discourage others from liking a post, thus driving down that engagement.”
Goldie Chan – Founder and Keynote Speaker, Top Linkedin video creator
Instagram may lose identity
“Personally, I think there are pros and cons. For me, Instagram is about posting great and engaging content and it’s great to see public likes to know that your hard work is paying off and your audience engages with your content, and other people and brands can see this as well. However, on the flip side, I do have days where I wish likes weren’t a thing and that people were not so fixated on them, including myself because it does start to affect you mentally if a photo you post doesn’t match your expectations of how many likes you think it should get. But, somehow, I feel that if likes disappear from Instagram, altogether, then Instagram itself will lose its identity.”
Murray Davies – Content creator | London
There is more to life than Instagram likes
“In my point of view, it will make social media more enjoyable; people are going to be seen more as human beings and not simply as numbers. It’s also going to be good to finally be able to post our daily content without expecting numbers! At the end of the day, life is so much more than this!”
Keu Bastos – Content creator – Ireland
They are destroying Instagram
“I’m not impressed with what they have been doing to Instagram. I actually messaged them just to say it before they destroy it even more than they already have. I don’t like it at all, as my last photo had less than half of the likes it would usually get, so fewer people are now seeing it with the algorithm. It makes difficult now to tell what accounts are genuine because previously most accounts that had lots of followers you could just look at their engagement – including likes – and almost tell if they bought likes. The new ban on likes has just started, so it is still early to say how it will affect in the long run. As other people won’t be able to see the likes someone else’s post gets, maybe it would be the case if we all start commenting “like” on the pictures as a way to fight back?”
Utah Jack – Photographer
Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.