Why Instagram Hiding Likes is Great for Writers
If you haven’t heard, Instagram has been testing a new layout that hides how many likes photos get. Users will still be able to see how many likes their own photos get, but it will be hidden from everyone else.
According to Instagram’s CEO, this change is for the sake of users’ mental health.
Instagram started testing it in countries such as Australia and Canada months ago. Recently, they rolled it out to users worldwide, including in the U.S.
Not all users are seeing this change, but already, there are many differing opinions.
Instagram getting rid of likes may hurt people like influencers who need to prove they have high engagement rates to get brand deals. But for creators like writers and artists, this is a positive thing.
Less pressure to be perfect
This goes for just about every user on the platform, but it’s especially important when it comes to creators. There is so much pressure on social media to mirror what other people are doing, especially if they’ve been successful doing it.
Knowing that people can’t see how many likes your photos get will lessen the need to make sure every post is the best thing you’ve ever done. It also diminishes the pressure to look at what other writers are doing, and assume you need to be doing the same.
This will lead to more authenticity and less clickbait.
It will also help us from comparing ourselves to other people in our industry and thinking negatively when we aren’t as successful as a fellow writer.
More independent thinking
Instead of jumping on the bandwagon when users see a particular photo or video is popular, people will have the opportunity to think for themselves.
Similar to how this change will remove pressure from the post’s creator, it can also mean less social pressure for people to enjoy a post. Liking a post will transition from signifying that a user agrees with the crowd to the user showing their support for that piece of content.
There won’t be any other motive.
This is great for society in general, but it’s especially great for creators because…
We’ll know who our most loyal readers are
This is the big one.
Overall, we may see our number of likes decrease as a result of this change. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
For creators, this will show us who our real supporters are. With less pressure to like posts, the loyal readers will shine through. These are the ones who enjoy our content and want us to know it, regardless of how many other people like it.
While high followers and likes are great metrics to see, at the end of the day marketing is about conversions.
This change could help us identify who our most loyal readers are — the ones likely to make a purchase and share our content with others.
There are a lot of mixed thoughts about this change, but overall I think it will have a positive impact for creators.
What do you think?
Social Media Success is a Medium publication that provides digital marketing and social media tips to writers. We’re also looking for contributors! Learn more here.
Read more by Shelby Leigh:
4 Things You Can Do Today to Market Yourself on Social Media
Simple ways for writers to succeed on social media
Why You Need To Get Serious About Social Media Now
If you’re a writer, social media can help you get published