It seems that the era of flaunting an attitude because of the number of likes you get on an Instagram post is coming to an end. The Facebook-owned social network has confirmed that the test which hides the like count from posts is going global, including India. Just last week, Instagram had expanded this test to the US, which joined Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand to be a part of the test that hides likes on posts on the Instagram feed. The way this Instagram test works is that as a user, you will still be able to see how many likes your posts are receiving, but others will not be able to see how many likes your posts have received. Similarly, you will also not be able to see how many likes another Instagram user’s post has received. This could pretty much change the way Instagram influencers operate.
“Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts to the rest of the world beyond Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and New Zealand. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own. While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community,” says Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram, in an official statement.
Instagram has been slowly rolling out this test in different countries since May, in an attempt to change the mindset where Instagram users were posting only to fish for likes, and perhaps not actually post what they really wanted to.
At the time of writing this, I am still able to see the likes count on posts by anyone and everyone in my Insta Feed. This could be a gradual rollout and should be available to all users soon. This will be available on Android, iOS and the web.
In fact, the very act of using third-party apps and tools to buy likes was becoming a rampant problem on Instagram, which effectively hid the genuine interaction and interaction with a post. Influencers who often believe that being a social media influencer is a full-time job, must be quite worried. And so should the brands who enable them be, too.
A 2017 research by Sway Ops, an online anti-fraud company, suggested that these so-called influencers don’t actually deliver on what they promise to brands. A single day’s worth of posts tagged #sponsored or #ad on Instagram contained over 50 percent fake engagements and out of 118,007 comments, only 20,942 were not made by bot followers, the research says. Bot comments are responsible for over 40 percent of total comments and that more than 15 percent of influencers who sign on to do sponsored never create a post—and this included cases where they took physical products and gadgets.