Yes, it’s true. Instagram is hiding “likes” in the Philippines

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In a bout to promote mental health in its users, Instagram started to test hiding “likes” on users accounts or at least making them private. Hiding likes on Instagram include likes on public posts seen in the feed, on the web, and in user profiles. Users will still see how many likes their posts get, but other users won’t be able to do so. Users included in the test will see an announcement at the top of their feed.  This change allows users to share what they want without having the pressure of gaining “likes”.

Instagram wants its app to be a place people feel comfortable expressing themselves, and can focus on photos and videos they share rather than how many Likes they get. - Techcrunch, 2019

In a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2018, it found that 40% of teenagers in the US, feel pressured to only post digital content that would garner a lot of likes. From an app that aimed to encourage people to share what they love, it has turned into a numbers game.

HOW DOES IT AFFECT USERS?

Users who will be selected for the testing will start to see a notification on top of their feed. They are able to see “likes” on their own posts, but will not be able to see another person’s likes. From listing the exact number of users who liked a post, Instagram will now only show “Friend liked and thousands of others. Here’s a sample below.

From Instagram @lizasoberano
Instagram begins test of hiding "likes" for some users in the Philippines.

With this recent update, the actual like count of a photo may now only be viewed by its respective user. All you have to do is head over to your post and click on others to see the exact number of people who’ve liked it. – Preview.ph

The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.” - Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram
HOW DOES IT AFFECT BUSINESS AND CREATOR ACCOUNTS?

With this recent update, businesses with an IG account, influencers, and creators, are worried that the change will affect their brand. While some voicing out that this new change will finally put an end of businesses who buy “followers” and “likes” from either third party apps, or via an influencer. This will shake up the influencer industry who are becoming a significant part of various companies’ marketing strategies. A new challenge is presented to content creators to produce authentic quality content that aims not to garner likes, but rather, engagement from its users.

Do you agree that hiding “likes” will be better for its users in the long run?

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