Instagram’s latest update contains bug fixes and performance improvements, which will also hide “likes” for some accounts.
“Heads up,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri tweeted. “We’ve been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We’re expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the US next week. Looking forward to the feedback!”
Some influencers fear that without “likes” their account will be in jeopardy of gaining any recognition.
“Not a good marketing strategy for business purposes,” creative director Gina Michaels said. “An option to the user is a better choice but disabling us from seeing likes completely will ruin Instagram users in the U.S.”
Michaels posts cosmetic products on Instagram and has built a solid foundation around fashion, beauty and lifestyles with the help of the platform.
Influencers questioned Mosseri on how the company is going to measure if the new improvements were a success.
Mosseri replied on Twitter: “The most important would be sentiment measures of surveys around how people feel about their time on the platform and this change more specifically.”
A solution for the app is to consider letting consumers choose whether their like count should be hidden or visible.
“I feel like IG is alienating its users,” video editor Samuel Moore said. “I have seen accounts post less and less because users have become less motivated when it’s hard to reach a bigger audience.”
Moore edits videos and posts them on his story timeline for artists. He has noticed trends that the higher volume of likes a photo receives, the greater the chances of reaching the explore page. He believes the app just won’t be as fun as it used to be.
“I am already moving to Twitter,” creative art designer Gilbert Brown said. “My Instagram has 10 thousand followers that I worked hard for, but it’s not even worth it anymore. The amount of likes really show how official you are as a content creator and a business person.”
Brown has not been subject to the changes but if Instagram does proceed with permanently removing likes, he will move onto other platforms to receive the proper recognition.
Instagram executives have said they want their app to be the safest and least competitive app for its users. Most young consumers are attached to how many likes their profile can attract. Sponsorship brands consider partnering with an influencer based on factors such as likes, comments and followers.
Influencers depend on engagement and this recent update may put their profiles at risk.