Instagram Removes Likes in New Trial

May 9, 2019 Updated: May 9, 2019

Could Instagram’s new trial of removing likes radically alter our relationship with the social media platform as we know it? It may well do, and this is something Instagram is currently experimenting with.

The social media giant is owned by Facebook and has had the largest increase in followers of all social media platforms over the last few years. As it stands, Instagram is only carrying out a trial in Canada where all likes of any post will not be visible to any viewers including all profiles, the main Instagram feed as well as all permalink pages.

However, likes are not completely removed in their entirety: the creator of the post will still be able to click on the likers window to view everyone who has liked their post. But it is only the user who created the post who will be able to view this.

 Instagram Removes Likes in New Trial

The platform has said that one of the reasons it is testing removing likes from posts is ‘to shift people’s primary focus from just posting to get likes.’ It wants people to concentrate more on the quality of the photos and videos each user posts, as opposed to focusing on the likes these individual posts get.  In summary, it wants people to focus more on the content itself.

On the other hand, others have been irritated by the removal, in part due to the immediate feedback it gives the user, and the dopamine hit it concurrently gives. For advertising agencies and influencers, it certainly presents a challenge in terms of measuring the success of posts and providing an ROI.

facebook conference social media post label by hand insta
Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of the Instagram logo in this photo illustration taken on March 28, 2018. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

What Do People Like Most on Instagram?

Curious as to what people tend to like the most on the social media platform?

The posts that tend to generate the highest number of posts are usually those by celebrities: think Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylie Jenner and the rest of the Kardashian family, hence the platform being so lucrative for them. Kim Kardashian notoriously charges circa $1 million for an Instagram post.

Other types of posts that tend to generate good traction include holiday and travel photos, food posts (hence the innumerable hashtags associated including #foodstagram) as well as bespoke jewelry and fashion.

Will Other Social Media Platforms Remove Likes Too?

The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has also recently revealed that his platform is also considering making likes less prominent on its site, or remove them entirely in their near future. This seems to be an important step to improve the quality of the social media experience, rather than chase social recognition. The trial in Canada will be an important trial and we wait to see if Instagram will roll this out across other parts of the world.